3 Steps to Take After Water Damage

Water damage can occur suddenly. The events that cause such damage can come in many forms. Perhaps excessive rain leads to basement flooding, a fallen tree causes a leaking roof leaking roof or a busted pipe results in standing water. Whatever the case may be, water can cause significant damage to your home. It can really disrupt your life, and the steps you take soon after that damage occurs determines the extent of that disruption. 

Contact Remediation Specialists

Remain calm. It only gets better from here. Survey the area. Evaluate the risk. If there is any chance that you are dealing with a biohazard, remove yourself from the home before calling for assistance. Otherwise, if you are able to limit any further damage, then do that first. Perhaps disabling the water main limits flow from a damaged pipe or you can collect water from a roof leak with a trash can. 

Contact a company that specializes in water damage remediation. Do so as soon as possible. Even if it is the witching hour, call them. Most remediation services are available around the clock for this exact reason. That does not mean they will be able to complete the entire project at that hour. They can, however, assess the situation, limit the damage and determine if the home should be occupied currently. These early steps can go a long way in limiting your costs over the long run. 

Call Your Insurance Company

You should call your insurance company as soon as you talk with the water damage pros. Again, it does not matter if it is the middle of the night. Most insurance provides have 24-hour hotlines for this exact reason. While much of the claim cannot be processed until the next business day, they can get the ball rolling as well as give some peace of mind to proceed without worrying about out-of-pocket expenses. 

Be mindful that if the water damage can be attributed to flooding or any other natural event rather than progressive wear and tear, you may be able to claim your actual losses on your tax return. A casualty loss deduction requires you to make a claim with your insurance provider if applicable. Even if the damage is $500 and your deductible is $500, a claim can still be worth it since it allows you to deduct that loss. 

Cleanup and Repairs

There may be some tough decisions ahead. Depending on the damage, some items may no longer be safe to use. In some cases, recovery may not be practical from a financial standpoint. Focus on ensuring that your home is dry and mold-free. If there is any risk of contamination from furniture or other possessions, make the difficult choice and move on.

Depending on the extent of the damage, it may be necessary to replace in whole or in part various surfaces, such as drywall and flooring. The goal should be to replace these damage sections as soon as possible. Although it can be possible to dry them enough for outward appearances, it often will not be possible to eliminate all of the potential mold until they are removed. 

Put the safety of you and your family above all else, but be proactive. Acting fast to disable the source of the water, limit the damage, contact the water remediation specialists and so forth can make a big difference in the end. Even a small amount of water damage can cost you a lot over the long-term if you procrastinate in dealing with it. The foundation for mold and other issues has already been laid.

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