After hurricanes Irma and Harvey, homeowners are looking to get caught up to speed on fixing the water damage to their home. Water damage is typically covered by flood insurance, which is great news! According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage makes up about 20% of all insurance claims in the U.S. However, before you call your insurance agent, be sure to know the steps to take.
Take Pictures Before Cleaning
By taking pictures before you are able to provide critical proof to your insurance of the repairs you need. Without pictures, you may end up getting a reduced amount of financial assistance. If your flood was caused by washing machine or other appliance, you will also want to save the appliance as evidence. Also, by keeping the appliance, you may be able to contact the manufacturer, who will normally replace the product.
Remove As Much Water As You Can
Once you have taken pictures and documented the damage, it is time to rid as much water as you can. The longer the water sits in your home, the deeper it can seep into your drywall, floors, and everything else. Plus mold and mildew will also typically begin growing within 24 to 48 hours. Also, many home insurance companies require insured parties to take the necessary measures to prevent further damage. If you don’t the insurance company could deny a claim for damage since the homeowner didn’t act to alleviate the damage. A great way to get the water out is to use a shop vacuum. Also, adding turning fans will help all the water dry out.
Help From the Expert
When the water damage is quite extensive you should definitely enlist the help of an expert. Calling a water damage restoration specialist or a contractor with this experience will help you out immensely. These pros come with industrial-grade dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and other fantastic equipment that will help dry everything out more thoroughly than a typical household fan.
If a hurricane caused your water damage, then there is a good chance you will qualify for home repair assistance through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). However, if you have flood insurance the government will not override that, this is for victims of a storm who do not have flood insurance. Some homeowners who have been through a hurricane may also qualify for a low-interest disaster loan from the Small Business Association.