Maybe you didn’t know there was a leak until you saw the telltale marks on the wall.
Or worse, maybe it was the ceiling.
It’s also possible your leak was sudden, when a pipe burst and flooded the basement.
Either way, you’re trying to figure out what to do now. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on everything you need to know about water damage repair.
Water damage basics
You might think that water damage comes from the sudden bursting of an old pipe or fixture.
It can also come from a slow drip that over time, eats away at a wall or floor.
Water damage can occur in many places in your home:
- Bathroom -shower pans, under sinks and toilets
- Kitchen -under the sink or dishwasher
- Laundry – your washer or dryer
- Garage – your water heater
- Basement – pipes or appliances like a second refrigerator
- Did you know it can also happen outside your home?
Drain pipes and flat areas around your foundation can also cause water damage.
Any standing or pooled water not only causes damage, but it can also grow mould.
Mould in your home
Mould is present in the natural environment, and is beneficial in breaking down dead plant matter.
Indoors, though, it’s not quite as helpful. Keeping the moisture in the air to a minimum and surfaces dry and clean is key.
In the winter, you can use a dehumidifier to help reduce indoor humidity.
Water damage prevention
Here are some things you can do to prevent water damage in and around your home.
Inspect the common culprits
Check on your water heater and other appliances regularly.
Look at the hoses and faucets for cracks or drips.
If you catch a small leak before it becomes a big one, it can save you thousands in repairs.
Do it now, don’t put it off
At the first sign of a leak, like a spot on the wall or small puddle, you need to fix it now.
The longer you wait, the worse the damage can be.
Keep an eye on your water bill
If you notice an unexplained increase in use, it could mean you’ve got a leak you can’t see.
If you inspect your home and can’t find the leak, you may want to call a professional for help.
Wipe any condensation off surfaces like window frames and doors.
If soft materials like ceiling tiles have become mouldy, it may be best to replace them.
Are you covered?
Water damage claims are one of the top reasons homeowners file claims with their insurance.
Do you know what your policy includes?
There are various scenarios and it will depend on your insurance carrier.
Are you covered if:
- Frozen pipes burst and flood the basement? Depends. If the house was unheated, maybe not.
- A neighbor’s tree falls on your roof? Likely the roof, and any damaged belongings would be covered.
- A nearby river overflows its banks and floods your basement? Not likely, that’s a separate type of policy.
- Your washer overflows and floods the laundry? Maybe, it will depend on your policy.
- The bottom line: if you experience water damage, it’s best to call your insurance carrier immediately.
The do’s and don’t’s of water damage repair
The kind of water damage repair you need will depend on the extent and type of damage.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a sudden broken pipe or a slow leak, both need immediate attention.
Getting things clean and dry in the shortest amount of time possible is key.
Here are the things you should and shouldn’t do.
Determine if it’s something you can handle cleaning up yourself.
If not, you’ll need to contact a professional contractor to help. Contact your insurance company, if necessary.
Take photos before something happens. This will be helpful for your insurance claim.
Before and after photos will help document the extent of any damage.
Get things dry as quickly as possible. It may be 3am, but your walls don’t know that. You need to clean up the water, fast.
Use a household vacuum cleaner to suck up water.
Don’t use any electrical appliances that are in standing water.
Walk through the flood water. This is especially important if it was a sewage-related flood.
Store wet things in plastic bags. You may use garbage bags to immediately remove things from the area.
Make sure you take those things out of the bag as soon as possible. Mould can begin to grow in as little as 48 hours.
Try to clean something that you’re unsure of. If it’s an item that has sentimental value, or you don’t know the best way to clean it, stop.
Consult a professional to help you.
When you need water damage repair
This is a no-brainer. If a pipe bursts and floods the basement, you’re going to need help.
If you’re remodeling
Your contractor is remodeling your kitchen and found water damage in the wall by the sink.
Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to hire professional that specializes in water damage repair or mould removal.
If the leak in your home has been ongoing, it’s possible that there is significant damage.
There may be mould in your walls or ceilings. It can even grow behind wallpaper.
It can be very invasive, and dangerous to your health.
You need to be careful if you’re trying to determine the extent of the mould yourself.
Pulling back wallpaper or removing ceiling tiles can disturb the mould colonies growing there. This also releases mould spores into the air in your home.
This can be especially harmful to the elderly, or those with breathing issues such as asthma.
If you find mould, and it’s more than a small area, you’re going to need professional mould remediation.
How we can help?
Our services include all your water damage repair needs, from foundation repair to waterproofing.
We’re certified by the IICRC in mould remediation, too.
Our trained technicians are available 24/7 to help you, contact us today.