Water damage is the third leading cause for home insurance claims. Water can silently and slowly cause damage or it can be instantaneous after a major event. Being aware of the possible causes of water damage can help prevent a loss to your home. Taking the proper steps after a loss can help to mitigate your damages.
Common Causes of Water Damage
- Bursting and leaking pipes – frozen water within the pipes brought on by cold temperatures.
- Plumbing issues – broken seals, clogged lines, corrosion, damaged pipe joints, excess water pressure, tree root invasion and loose connectors.
- Household appliance malfunctions – leaking waterlines, loose drain valves on water heaters and loose connectors.
- HVAC issues – frozen evaporator coils and clogged condensate drains.
- Weather related – heavy rains or snow melt.
The goal of water mitigation is to prevent additional damage after a water event. Property left untreated can lead to serious problems. For instance, you may experience wood rot, rusting steel, product delamination and growth of mold and bacteria. Slow leaks may not be readily detected. An increase in the water bill, a water meter that continuously runs, visible mold and mildew and musty smells can all be indicators that you have a hidden water leak.
Steps to Mitigate Water Damage
- Inspect and Assess – Determine the cause of the water damage and make repairs to prevent more damage.
- Water removal and extraction – Pumps and vacuums can be used to remove large amounts of water. Wet materials need to be removed to dry elsewhere or be disposed of. This can include cutting out sheetrock and carpet.
- Dry Out – Air movers & dehumidifiers removes moisture from the surface and the air.
- Cleaning and sanitizing – Air scrubbers clean the air and eliminate odors. Antimicrobial treatments kill mold and bacteria.
- Restoration – Once the structure and personal property have been completely dried out and sanitized it is time to put your home back together.
The initial steps for mitigation typically take 3-4 days to properly complete. Many companies offer professional water mitigation services.
Water can be very elusive and spread quickly. It is important to take steps to mitigate your damage as soon as possible to protect your property and your health.