Recovering From A Water Damage
When it comes to water damage in the U.S., almost 40% of homes have incurred losses due to this type of occurrence. Most of these problems are caused by a neglected or damaged roofs, old or faulty plumbing, broken washers and water heaters. Natural disasters such a flood events or hurricanes also ruin homes and businesses with their destructive forces.
During a water damage disaster, many homeowners and businesses feel hopeless, especially if most of the structure is still under water. The situation may appear bleak, but in most cases, there is a great chance of recovering your home or business from water damage quickly. The first step is not to panic. Keep calm and figure out where to begin. This is where an Emergency Plan should be considered before an event like this strikes. Check out https://www.ready.gov/plan. Here are some simple steps to guide you to a successful home recovery after water damage.
The number one priority should be the safety of you and your family. If there is standing water, begin by switching off electrical power to the entire house or the flooded area. Live electricity and water are a lethal combination. Secondly, shut off the main water inlet valve to prevent any possibility of contaminating the water system. In a large flood, you may also need to cut off the gas supply also. Identify and dispose of any damaged food; this will prevent food poisoning by accidental consumption. Don’t wade through a flooded floor without proper protection, especially in murky water. Sharp objects may be lurking at the bottom of the water. Wear sturdy waterproof boots when walking in a flooded area.
Remove The Moisture
The next step is to get rid of the moisture. In a heavy flooding situation, wait till the floods dissipate before you can start drying out your house. if environment is safe to do so, use electric, gas or hand trash pumps to remove water. Locate the lowest part of the flooded floor and place the pumps there. Be careful with electric-powered pumps to avoid electric shock. You could dump the excess water into the sewage system, a tanker truck, or the backyard where it won’t cause any harm. After all the water is out, circulate dry air within the house. Open up windows and doors to let in the fresh air. If it’s safe to use the mains system, install electric fans to blow air to specific areas. Even better, if the heating system is still usable, power it up to warm the house and drive moisture away. Drying out the house can reduce mold from growing.
Pick Up Debris
Clear out any debris brought in by the water. Flood water is especially messy; there may be sediments, leaves, tree branches and even garbage. Identify anything that can be salvaged. This could be your precious heirlooms, rugs, furniture or drapes. Any salvageable belongings should be kept in a separate dry room if possible, or away from the house altogether. Anything that is severely damaged should be disposed of and documented for insurance purposes. Clear out as much debris as possible to reveal the extent of the water damage.
Assess Water Damage
With everything out of the way and visible, you can now assess the level of damage sustained. You may need to call in an inspector with an eye for details to examine the property in its entirety. Check for damage or mold on the floor, walls and plumbing system. Get a clear picture of the extent of damage, what needs to be done to repair the damages. This may be the time to call SERVPRO of St. Louis Central to put together a restoration protocol to put your St. Louis home back to its preloss condition.
Call Your Insurance Carrier
After a detailed assessment of the damage, call your insurance agent or carrier to find out how much of the damage they will cover. Your insurer will probably send a claims adjuster who will document all the steps you have taken so far and the valuation of damages. According to your insurance policy, the insurer could chip in a large part of the repair and restoration costs. Contact other insurers covering assets like your car or other valuables damaged along with the house.
Repairing Your Property
Now its time to begin repairs on your home. If only some rooms of the house are damaged, your family could still live in the safe parts of the house. However, if the house needs extensive repairs, you may have to find a temporal shelter. SERVPRO of St. Louis Central can carry out all the necessary repairs to your home or business from emergency mitigation and building stabilization to complete reconstruction of your property. Most water damage repairs include floor, walls and doors repairs or replacements. Check with the authorities whether certain repairs are allowed or require a city permit, SERVPRO can provide this for you also. The restoration period depends on the extent of the damage. Floor work usually takes a lot of time, so make sure you are prepared for that. After the repairs, make a few touch ups like paint jobs and restoring any peripheral systems such as plumbing and electrical systems in case they were damaged as well. Again, SERVPRO can provide all these different services to you since we are a "Full Service" contractor.
Ready To Move Back
After all the repairs are done, the house is finally back to its preloss condition, its now time to move back in. Bring in your furniture and belongings and prepare for things to go back to normal "Like it never even happened."
If you have had the misfortune of water damage striking, relax and follow a these steps for a speedy recovery.