Water removal can be expensive, but the cost of not doing it can be much higher. The risk goes deeper than just a few unsightly stains. If you see surface signs of water damage, chances are it’s worse the deeper you get into the unseen structure of the house. But what exactly is water damage? What do you look for? Knowing how to recognize the early signs of water damage and acting quickly to take care of it can help save you a lot of money and stress. Here’s what you need to know about water damage.
What is Water Damage?
Damage from water isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. Sure, if your pipes burst, your bathroom floods, or your roof develops a leak, you know you’re at risk for some problems. But water damage can also manifest as an overflowed bathtub you thought you cleaned up or a quietly leaking pipe that took weeks or months to cause enough damage to bring it to your attention.
The problems with water often come not with the initial leak or flooding, but later on. If the moisture isn’t completely removed, it can get into the carpet, the drywall, and even the wooden “bones” of the house. Besides the apparent softening and warping that water causes, it also attracts unwanted growth which can cause many health problems for you and your family. Depending on how long they were wet and how deep the damage goes, getting rid of water damage may require replacing the affected materials.
Do I Have Water Damage?
In a worst-case scenario, you might come home to a foot of water in your kitchen or bathroom. But identifying the damage isn’t always that easy. If a leaky roof or a plumbing problem dripped quietly for a while without your knowledge, how do you recognize the resulting damage? If you cleaned up the water and now suspect it wasn’t well enough, how do you know?
First things first, it’s best to call a professional as soon as possible. Professionals have tools that can confirm whether or not you still have hidden moisture in your home and where it’s located. But if you’re not sure, here are a few signs that you may have water damage.
- Unsightly brown-colored stains on the ceiling and walls
- Bubbling, swelling, and other changes in texture on the walls and trim
- Peeling paint as it loses adhesion
- Sagging walls and/or ceiling
- Warped floors
- Unpleasant odors
What Do I Do Now?
Whether you discovered standing water in your laundry room or you’re now noticing signs of hidden damage within your walls, the sooner you act, the better. Professional water removal and damage control involves not only removing visible water but also using sophisticated equipment to detect where the moisture is still lurking within the walls. Once discovered, this moisture must then be removed to avoid hidden damage from spreading. PuroClean Restoration Specialists uses state-of-the-art drying systems to rid your home of any moisture. Once the moisture is dealt with, the damage can be assessed and any necessary remediation can be started.
The Importance of Fast Action
Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your life. To protect its value, it’s important to keep up with home maintenance. If you suspect water damage, make sure you act quickly to help prevent more serious problems from arising. Remember, in the case of water damage, time is money. The sooner the moisture is removed, the less damage you’ll be facing, and the lower the cost of repairs!
What’s the 411 on Water Damage Restoration?
Water damage can happen for many reasons—from a storm or natural disaster to a burst pipe or broken appliance. Water damage restoration can be a daunting process, especially if you’re standing knee-deep in water. If you know what to do and understand the process, however, it can be less stressful. Here are a few tips for dealing with one of life’s “little” emergencies.
What Will My Insurance Cover?
Insurance coverage for water damage varies. If your water-related emergency is due to sudden and unforeseen circumstances such as a burst pipe, there is a higher chance that it will be covered. If, however, the damage is due to a poorly maintained drainage system or a roof that should have been replaced years ago, you may be out of luck. Be sure to check with your insurance provider before a disaster occurs to verify exactly what you’re covered for.
The Claims Process
The language you use when making your claim is important. For example, the word “flood,” in particular, carries specific nuances in the insurance world. If you live on a hill, your insurance may not cover flooding. A flood occurs, for example, when a river runs over its banks. Telling your insurance agent that you have a flood could unnecessarily hold up the claims process.
Before contacting your agent or approaching a water damage restoration company, it’s important to document the damage. It may seem counterintuitive, but make sure you don’t touch anything. The claims adjuster will need to get a full picture of the situation. If you do have to move things to prevent further damage, document everything before you do.
The Water Damage Restoration Process
Once you’ve been in contact with your insurance company and filed your claim, contact PuroClean Restoration Specialists. The water damage restoration process can be complicated depending on the amount of damage, but it usually follows the same pattern.
- Emergency Contact: Have specific information ready such as contact and insurance information. Be ready to tell them what caused the damage so they can be prepared for any hazardous situations.
- Inspection and Assessment: The restoration company will come out and assess the damage to determine the best course of action.
- Water Removal: Standing water and likely any affected furnishings and household goods to prevent further damage and give them space to work.
- Drying: After standing water is removed, the area will still be quite damp and require time and more intensive methods for removing the remaining moisture.
- Cleaning and Repairing: Once the moisture is gone, the real job of repairing and restoring your home can begin. Once complete, everything can be thoroughly cleaned.
Events leading to water damage may be stressful, but water damage restoration itself doesn’t have to be. Knowing what is required of you and what to expect during a crisis can go a long way toward alleviating a lot of the stress from the water damage restoration process.
8 Common Places Water Affects Your Home
Water is necessary for all life on earth, but this natural resource can cause severe damage to a house. Here is a look at eight common places that water damage can affect your home and how you can prevent it.
- Roof and Attic
The roof is designed to protect your home from the outside elements, but cracked or missing shingles can allow water into your home and attic. This can lead to severe complications such as unwanted growth, rot, and electrical shorts.
What can you do? Inspect your roof at least twice a year for signs of damage so you can address any problems immediately.
Gutters are designed to keep water from rolling straight off the roof and pooling near your house which can lead to flooding or a damaged foundation. But when the gutters get clogged up with leaves, the rain can overflow just like a waterfall, making them practically useless.
What can you do? Clean them out every six months so your gutters can serve their purpose.
- Exterior Walls and Trim
If you notice chipped paint or cracks in your house’s siding, you may be at risk for water damage. Not only can this cause your exterior walls to rot, but it can also cause damage to your interior walls as well.
What can you do? Use exterior paint to seal any cracks and silicone caulking around any trim to prevent the water from seeping in.
- Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are an easy entry point for water, especially if they’re not shut or sealed properly.
What can you do? If your caulk is cracked or loose, remove it and reapply a silicone caulk around all exterior and interior trim. Replace broken windows as soon as you notice them.
As a primary room where water is used, bathrooms are much more susceptible to water damage. Leaky faucets, drains, and pipes can lead to severe problems like interior water damage and even electrical shock.
What can you do? Check for leaks and tighten pipe connections several times throughout the year. Whenever you take a shower, always leave a window open or run the exhaust fans so excess moisture can escape.
- Laundry Room
The vibrations of the washing machine can loosen and destroy the water pipes connected to it. If they burst, you are left with excessive water damage from flooding. Not only is this a big mess to clean up, but it can also cause significant damage to your floors and possessions.
What can you do? Invest in stainless steel washer hoses. They are more durable than other types, making them less susceptible to bursting.
Your heating and a/c unit is probably not the first place you would think to check for water damage. Unfortunately, this problem is more common than you might imagine. Hard water and mineral deposits build up inside and cause corrosion and rust, which can eventually lead to leaking.
What can you do? Have your HVAC system checked twice a year.
- Sewer and Septic System
If your drains are emptying slowly or you see wet spots in your yard, check your sewer and septic system before it causes water damage to your home.
What can you do? Clean your drains using a septic snake as needed and have your septic tank emptied as necessary.
If, despite your best attempts to prevent it, you discover water damage in your home, do not hesitate. Quick action is the key to minimizing the effects of the damage. Contact PuroClean Restoration Specialists to evaluate and fix any water damage right away.
Why You Should Hire a Restoration Contractor
When disaster strikes your home, you want an experienced restoration contractor to help you get back on your feet again. Emergency restoration contractors are available 24/7 to help you clean up the mess in an emergency situation. If you’re dealing with an emergency, here are the top three reasons why you should hire a restoration contractor.
Experience in Handling Restoration Cleanup and Repair
When your home has been damaged, you need to find the right person for the job. A restoration contractor deals with repairing damage from fire, water, and other disasters. They have the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job right the first time. A restoration contractor must be able to picture what the room looked like before the damage occurred and determine the steps needed to rebuild it. They know where to look for hidden damage and common problems. They also know how to restore the space without starting from scratch. The fewer things that must be replaced, the more efficiently the job can be completed. However, making the right decision about what must be replaced and what can be left alone is critical. If a problem such as water damage or hidden structural damage is unresolved, it can lead to even more costly repairs down the road.
In addition to having the right person working on your restoration project, the contractor also needs the right tools to do the repairs. Restoration contractors have all of the professional tools necessary for your specific damage situation. They have the necessary specialized equipment such as moisture meters and gauges, water extraction units, pumps, fans, blowers, and dehumidifiers. Their commercial-grade equipment is more efficient for home restoration than standard tools a general contractor would have.
Knowledgeable in Handling Insurance Claims
Handling the insurance claim is another step your restoration contractor can assist you with. Since restoration is their specialty, they work with insurance companies on every project they complete. They can provide you with a realistic idea of what repairs will be covered. Your emergency restoration contractor can help ensure the insurance claims process goes quickly and smoothly. Expediting this process means that you can get reimbursed faster.
Dealing with water, fire, or smoke damage to your home can be very stressful. In the midst of a crisis, it can feel as though your entire life is on hold. Call PuroClean Restoration Specialists as soon as you notice the first signs of damage. With quick action, your home will be back to normal in no time.