For the past 22 years, I’ve run Steamatic, a company that specializes in “insurance loss,” which is the clean up, rebuilding & remediation that happens after water damage, sewer back up, fires and mold. During that time, I have noticed certain situations that could be prevented by maintenance.
It is importance to first understand how much damage and how quickly the damage will intensify when water enters your home. Here are some things to remember:
- The longer something is wet, the more damage that will occur
- Wet carpet (and in particular the padding underneath) will spread the water to new, unaffected areas
- As water travels from room to room, the walls can start to soak up the water, thus adding to your damage
- This is a major issue that can be prevented by acting quickly.
- “Secondary damage” is when there is so much water (and humidity) that other areas of your home are affected even though they did not get wet
The simple solution to all of these issues is time.
The quicker you act, the less damage occurs. If you read no further, please remember that time is the biggest mitigating factor when dealing with water damage.
How do you prevent water from entering your home?
Not including water that comes in from the outside, most water damages are “sudden and accidental,” but there are some things you can do to help prevent water intrusions. For example:
- Replace the hoses on your washing machine with leak-proof hoses.
- Check any water filtration systems that you might have, particularly the hoses.
- If you notice increased water pressure, have a plumber check the regulator because too much pressure can cause a pipe to break.
- Unfortunately, water heaters do not last forever. After 15 years, the chances of them failing is considerably higher.
- If you have a sump pump, check that it still works every 3 months.
What do you do if you do experience water damage?
- TURN OFF THE WATER
- Elevate all furniture, draperies and any soft goods near or on the wet surfaces
- Remove shoes, clay pots, magazines, papers, etc. lying on the floor
- Utilize in-Structure drying resources to expedite drying: HVAC System, Exhaust Fans & Ceiling Fans
- Call Steamatic
Out of that list, the most important action to take is #1: Turn off the water! Before you have a water loss, you need to know where the water turn-off is (and how to use it) for the following areas:
- Ice line
- Water heater
- Whole house
You need to know who to call in case of water damage.
Steamatic of Greater Atlanta can help you with all your emergency needs. Our phone is always answered by a live person; with our first question being “Do you have an emergency?” Your home and contents need to be protected from water damage. If sudden and accidental things are going to happen, then having the right insurance and the right restoration company on your side will help save the day.
So call your Insurancehub agent to check on coverage 770-497-1200. And, if needed, call Steamatic of Greater Atlanta at 770-246-9943 to help clean and rebuild your home.
Author: Written by Mark Gould, Steamatic of Greater Atlanta