If you have ever experienced water damage to a property, then you will know how costly and upsetting an experience it can be, but it is something that can be overcome.
Water damage to the home can be owing to a number of factors, from burst pipes on the property to flooding from a natural weather event. Build-up of sediment or deposits in a pipe can result in it leaking or bursting. If the pipe is upstairs in a property, the leak will spread all too easily. The increase in extreme weather events has led to floods in many locations, resulting in severe damage to homes driving people from their properties, often for long periods.
At its worst, water damage can cause severe structural damage to a house, so much so that a property may need to be demolished. Even a minimum amount of water damage can be costly, causing homeowners to replace floors or ceilings, carpets, and furnishings, or other household items.
Water damage can cause mold or mildew, resulting in breathing difficulties, particularly among vulnerable members of a family, such as the young and old. Water damage to wooden floors invites termites and carpenter ants, compounding the initial damage caused.
If water damage occurs to your property, there are a number of steps that you can take immediately to prevent the situation from getting any worse:
- Turn off any water sources inside your property.
- Do not touch any electrical sources in the property until the supply has been switched off.
- Keep away from ceilings damaged by water in case they collapse.
- Move household items to any dry areas.
- Do not use electrical items to clean up; use mops instead.
- Compile a list of the items that have been damaged, destroyed, or lost.
- Do not handle any items exposed to a sewer leak.
If water damage is covered under your home insurance, make sure you have all the paperwork done correctly before submitting a claim to your insurer. Have a detailed inventory of what has been damaged or lost, including pictures and/or video. If you can, provide an estimate of the value of each item you wish to claim for. The insurance company may ask for proof of ownership and/or the value of individual items.
Prevention is the best cure, as the old saying goes, and there are some things you can do yourself to prevent water damage from occurring. Conduct regular maintenance of your pipes and drains to ensure that no problems are building up. If necessary, bring in a professional to examine your home for any potential problem areas. A professional plumbing service, may cost you some money upfront, but compared to the cost of a cleanup from water damage it is minimal.
Water damage to a property is something that you will want to avoid, but it is good to know that help is available if it happens.