“Water damage” is a pretty vague term. It could range from an extremely serious health risk to a small issue in the corner of a room – but what exactly do you need to know about these problems? How can you tell if there is water damage present and what should you do to take action to fix it?
Water damage has many causes. When you think of water damage, you probably imagine a flood, a burst pipe, or a water main break. This kind of damage is extremely serious and will require immediate attention. If this happens, contact s 24-hour water damage restoration company. While you wait for them to respond, you’ll want to move items out of the way. You also may need to turn off the valve to isolate the water supply if the issue is caused by your pipes, and also turn off the circuit breakers powering anything in the vicinity of the water.
If the water issue is less dramatic but still present, such as a persistently wet basement corner, or a pinhole leak in a copper distribution pipe, contact an appropriate professional (such as a foundation repair company or a plumber). Immediate service isn’t necessary but make sure you get it taken care of. The moisture will eventually lead to organic growths, corrosion, or could escalate to flooding.
Water damage can be categorized into three types that describe the risk they pose to you and your family’s health.
Category 1 involves water that is relatively clean, such as fresh water from a distribution pipe.
Category 2 is water that has the possibility to cause illness since it could contain bacteria or harmful chemicals. This would include “grey water” from a sink or bathtub drain.
Category 3 water is highly contaminated, typically with human waste, and can cause serious illnesses or even death. A sewage leak is an immediate health hazard that must be addressed to prevent contamination of belongings or structural components.
Water that begins as Category 1 has the potential to turn into Category 2 and eventually 3 since, once the damage has begun, the water will likely come into contact with contaminants such as soil, fuel, trash, and human waste. And if the water lingers, it will become a breeding ground for bacteria and other organic growths, which will penetrate any porous surfaces and create a major health hazard. This is why you must try to catch water damage as soon as possible and get it repaired.
The final thing to consider when it comes to water damage is what your insurance will cover for you. Homeowner’s insurance will typically not cover any flood damage. If you live in an area that is subject to frequent flooding, you may have coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Make sure you look at your current insurance policy so you can get a clear picture of what is covered. Many sudden and unpredictable issues, like storm damage, are typically covered. Water damage caused by negligence of property maintenance, though, could be excluded, along with gradual leaks. Here’s a good article from Allstate Insurance that gives a rundown on what their insurance will and won’t cover.
Contact your insurance company as soon as you believe you have a claim on your hands. You’ll want your agent to start the claims process as soon as they can and they should be able to help you get through the immediate steps to mitigating any further damage.
Water damage is no small issue, and finding what may seem like a minor issue before it turns into a major problem is important. During our home inspections, we are always looking for evidence of existing water damage, as well as signs of potential water issues, such as poor drainage and old pipes. Just remember, we can’t see through walls so leaks can still happen even without visible signs.
If you think you have signs of water damage, call Inspections by Bob today to make sure you catch anything that could harm your family’s health!Tags: buying a house, home checkup, home maintenance tips, homebuying tips, selling a house, water damage