Lets get started drying the water before it can cause more damage. You can begin by following the 6 steps.
– Determine where the water came from (is it a pipe leak?)
– Stop the Leak (even if you have to turn off the water main)
– Start the restoration process immediately (you’ll need towels for this)
– Get in touch with a reputable water damage restoration company
– Call your insurance carrier
Keep up with receipts and your time spent remediating (drying) the water damage
We’ll expound more on these steps below, and on other pages in the blog. But you need to act now, after all, you’ve got water damage, right? Bookmark our blog and you can come back for more information during each step of the process.
Notice that notifying your insurance company is near the end of the list. That doesn’t mean you should wait until the work is complete, the first 4 steps should be completed within a matter of hours. Your insurance company wants you to mitigate (protect your property from further damage) immediately. This is the most important part of water damage restoration. You’ll never get in trouble for starting the remediation (dry out)process, because it may save them money in the end. It also may keep you from having to file a claim altogether, which will benefit you as well.
Step 1 – Where Is The Water Coming From?
Before you even begin to think about drying up the water in your home, you need to eliminate the leak. There are several places you should look first., and based on where the water damage is the worst, this should be your first hint.
If the water is in the floor in your kitchen, check your refrigerator first. Usually, people’s fridge isn’t leaking, but one of the major causes of water leaks in a home is the icemaker line, or the connection between the line and the refrigerator.
Other common causes of water damage in the kitchen may result from issues around the kitchen sink and dishwasher.
Also check your water heater, the toilet, and if its coming from the attic (and its not raining) check your air-conditioner’s overflow pan
Step 2 – Fix The Leak
Once you’ve narrowed down where the water is coming from, the next step is to limit the damage the leak causes by stopping the flow of water there. Some water damage restoration companies have plumbers on staff, but we recommend finding your own.
Most icemaker lines have a shut-off near the point of entry into the kitchen. You can try and turn off the supply line to the kitchen sink.
If all else fails, or the leak is in the wall itself, consider shutting the water off in your home. Don’t worry, its not permanent. You can turn it back on if there’s an emergency.
Step 3 – Start Drying The Water
This step is as simple as using towels and/or a mop to soak the standing water up. This won’t totally dry your home, but it could possibly limit (or mitigate in insurance terminology) the damage that the water will cause.
Step 4 – Contact A Reputable Water Restoration Service
Choosing a reputable water damage service provider can be a complicated step, however the Water Damage Blog is here to make the process a little more simple. We recommend you only contact Water Damage Restoration services that adhere to IICRC guidelines. The IICRC stands for Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, and it’s the non-profit organization that set standards for properly dealing with water damage.
You don’t just want a “Stan with a fan” coming out, putting a small fan on your floor and thinking you’re good. On the other side of the coin, you don’t want some predatory water damage restoration service coming in and overloading the fans, putting a full claim payment in jeopardy.
Before we move on, let’s make sure there’s enough damage to warrant filing a claim with your insurance carrier. If the water damage restoration company is only going to charge you $500 for drying the water, and the repairs are going to be minimal, you should consider not filing a claim, especially if the deductible is $1000.00 or more. There’s no need to file a claim when you’re only going to get a couple of hundred dollars from your adjuster. Never file a claim unless you feel its necessary to pay for the remediation and restoration
Step 5 – Contact Your Insurance Company
Of course, when there is water damage in your home you don’t want call your automobile insurance. This is a job for your Homeowner’s or business owner’s insurance company. You want to do this after you have started the remediation (dry-out) process, but before you start the restoration (build-back) process. Do not allow the water damage restoration company to remove carpet (pad is okay), wood floors, drywall or any other structural part of your home before you either get the okay from your insurance company, or take some really good photos or video, and even then leave samples for your adjuster to see.
Step 6 – Keep all receipts and document your time.
Go ahead and start the initial steps of water damage restoration. If you spend 2 hours mopping up the water, keep track. When you wash the towels, keep track of the loads. If you have to rent equipment to start the remediation process, keep your receipts. If you are in doubt as to whether you should keep your receipts for something related to the water damage, keep the receipt. Its better to have the receipt and your insurance company says “no way” than to toss the invoice when it could have been reimbursed.