Water damage is insidious in a way fire damage is not: it can creep into a building or home and catch you unaware. How do you know if you have water damage? What can you do to prevent water damage? These questions and more are answered below.
What causes water damage?
The most obvious and unavoidable causes of water damage are severe forces of nature, such as hurricanes or floods. Water damage also can occur when a fire is extinguished, from leaking pipes, from malfunctioning washing machines and heaters, as well as from leaks in your roofing and siding. Even water from defective gutters can cause water to pool around your property and potentially leak into your basement.
What actions do I take when I first notice the damage?
Immediately following a water-related incident, call your insurance provider to inform him/her of the damage. If your home is severely damaged, determine whether it is structurally safe to enter. If not, or if you are unsure, immediately make arrangements to stay elsewhere.
Do I need to throw away all my kitchenware after a flood?
Not necessarily. Dishes, cooking utensils and food preparation areas can be sanitized, disinfected and then reused. Do throw away wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers, since they’re nearly impossible to clean safely.
How fast will mold or bacteria start to grow?
Within hours! Because mold thrives in moist, warm environments, any place that is wet and/or humid is a perfect place for mold to grow. Therefore, it is imperative that you call ServiceMaster Advantage immediately!
What can I do if I need to salvage my photos but I can’t get to it immediately?
If you cannot dry out your photos immediately, you can delay further damage from happening by freezing your photos. Start with rinsing them gently, then place your clean photos in a plastic bag (zip bags are recommended), place them in a container and put in the freezer. Be sure to consult a professional conservator before freezing any photos.
How can I safely inspect my house after water damage?
Dangers are not over when the water goes down. Do not endanger yourself or your family after a water event. Keep children and pets away. It is important to protect yourself and your family from stress, fatigue, and water-related health hazards.
Follow these basic safety rules:
- Determine structural stability
- Cut off power supply
- Turn off water supply
- Turn off gas supply
- Beware of animals
- Use protective gear