About 40% of homeowners have experienced loss due to water damage.
You want to be able to handle the water the best you can without it spreading, which can cause even more damage. Being prepared and knowing how to deal with the situation can also prevent you from losing more of your belongings.
That’s why we’ve gathered 10 helpful tips for dealing with the damage. Read on to learn what they are:
1. Know Your Location
Do some research on where your home is located and what the potential water damage risk is. Research if your state or town is prone to flooding. As this would make taking preventative measures a must.
For example, if you live downhill, you might want to start gathering materials to prepare for a flood. If you live by a coast, you will also want to assess your location.
Living in an area prone to tropical storms or hurricanes represents a higher risk for flooding. You need to be prepared for seasonal floodings if you live in certain areas.
Below are some states that are at risk of flooding:
- New Jersey
- New York
If you live in any of these states, you should have an emergency plan in place in case of a flood.
2. Prepare Yourself for a Flood Warning
Your emergency plan should prepare you for a flood. Take measures to ensure you prepare your property.
Laying down sandbags is an effective way to stop water from moving into an area. Some communities give out sandbags in the event of a hurricane. If this is not the case, you can make your own sandbags.
You can use either sand or soil, fill the bags halfway, and then fold the top down. When you place a sandbag down, make sure that the folded part is touching the ground.
You can layer these bags as well. Consider laying down plastic tarps to also help divert the water away from your house.
Consider also getting flood insurance if your house is in a high-risk area. The common homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. This is alarming as the water can cause damage that can only be fixed by expensive renovations.
There is the Nationally Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulated by the federal government. Look into this program if you think flooding or water leaks is a high possibility.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Roof
Damage to your roof can lead to water leaks inside your home. Inspect your roof and the attic. If your home doesn’t have an attic, inspect your ceiling for spots that might indicate a roof leak.
Observe the roof for missing shingles that could let water in. And get these replaced as soon as possible. You should also clean your gutters out on a regular basis.
Cleaning your gutters will help ensure your house has proper drainage in case of a heavy storm. Water will be able to travel away from your home efficiently.
4. Test Your Water Drainage Systems
Check the pumps in your home used to remove excess water. These are commonly called Sump Pumps. Pour water slowly into these pumps, and watch if they drain the water away or it stays in place.
You can usually find these pumps in your basement. If your pump isn’t working, call a plumber to help unclog or fix it.
5. Check Before Entering
After your home has flooded or suffered water damage, be careful when reentering. Keep an eye out for electrical equipment that may have come into contact with the water.
As they can be deadly and electrocute a person if touched. If you evacuate your home due to rising water, look out for what may have found its way into your living space during your absence.
Animals may have been seeking shelter during the storm and are now in your home. If you find an animal in your home you should leave immediately or call animal control to come remove it.
6. Document the Water Damage
Take steps to record everything about the damage. Take pictures of the damage before and after the cleanup.
You may think you should only document your property but don’t stop there. Document even personal items that were damaged by the water.
If you hire a company to handle the damage, you should keep all your receipts from the transactions. This will be useful when providing information to the insurance company.
7. Dry the Area
After documenting the damage you should begin drying the area that has water damage. Move the water to drains or soak it up with towels or clothing. Open windows and turn on fans to help dry the area.
It is crucial you start drying the area as soon as possible as waiting can cause even more damage. Water can lead to mold inside your home and even add bacteria that can cause potential health problems.
Water damage can also cause structural problems within a home, which can lead to larger renovations.
8. Identify Water Leaks
Take time to also look out for leaks in your house that be creating water damage. Inspect your attic and look for dark spots in your home.
If you have vinyl flooring and can spot it curling, it might be a sign of a water leak. Mold spots on the wall can also mean a leak.
As soon as you find these leaks, try to turn off the pipes that are supplying the water to them.
9. Keep an Eye out for the Small Spaces
After you have started the process of drying your area, check small spaces for hidden damage as well.
Check areas like vents and ductwork in the ceiling if you found a leak in the roof. As well as small craw spaces and insulation.
Even if you don’t suspect water damage you should still check these areas can lead to bigger problems.
10. Find a Restoration Service Company
After you have attempted to dry the area, look for a restoration company to help with the bigger fixes.
Look for a company with certifications. A characteristic of a good company is one that requires a lot of paperwork as well.
Water damage isn’t something you want to take your time with. The longer water damage is left unaddressed the worse it can get.
We understand the damage to your home can be stressful and it can be hard to find the time to make the repairs it needs. For more help with water damage and water restoration, contact us.