When it comes to homeowners insurance, there could be a lot of confusion and misconceptions.
Water damage can be a traumatic experience for homeowners. Being informed about the causes, consequences, and ways to handle water damage can help you overcome the problem more efficiently. Here are five frequently asked questions and answers about water damage:
1. What causes water damage?
Water damage can occur after natural disasters, such as thunderstorms or hurricanes that cause flooding, from pipe bursts, appliance malfunctions, roof leaks, foundation leaks, septic tank overflows, poor drainage, and more. Flash flooding, pipe bursts, and sewage backups are especially dangerous as they can produce several inches of water in less than a day.
2. Why is water damage dangerous?
Floodwater that comes from outside and from sewage backups contains dangerous contaminants like viruses and bacteria. If the water isn’t drained within 24-48 hours, structural damage and mold growth can ensue. Even water leaks that infiltrate your home slowly can cause damage to the building and lead to mold growth. Mold left unchecked will spread quickly through the home.
3. What should I do after a flood, or sewage or water leak?
Firstly, contact a water damage restoration company as soon as possible. Don’t wait as water can cause mold and irremediable damage to the wood, walls, and carpet in your home. Afterwards, contact your insurance company to start the claim process. If safe, shut off the utilities in your home to avoid further damage. Don’t enter your home if it has suffered structural damage. Don’t walk through floodwater if electricity hasn’t been turned off and to avoid contaminants.
4. How do certified technicians typically handle water damage?
The first thing professionals do is remove damaged materials that will either be restored or discarded. Materials include baseboards, insulation, furniture, carpeting, upholstery, carpet padding, fragile woods, drywall, and more. After the damaged items are removed, the technicians begin drying out the water and disinfecting the areas. Specialized tools like air movers and dehumidifiers are typically involved in the drying process. Professionals will also handle mold damage in the restoration process. Mold-infected surfaces will be disinfected and restored as quickly as possible to prevent it from spreading.
5. Will my homeowners insurance cover water damage?
Homeowners insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental (such as water heater ruptures or pipe bursts). However, flood damage, no matter the source of the water, is NOT covered by standard homeowners policies. Flooding can occur from storms, sewer backup, and overflowing rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans. However, you can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Note that water damage that results from lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowners insurance policy.
The best way to avoid water damage in your home is to take steps to prevent it. Learn how to prevent water damage in your home here. Further tips to handle water and storm damage are available in this article. For flood water damage repair and mold remediation service, contact your local PuroClean office.