Sunday, July 1, 2012

Water Damage: Beginning The Clean Up Process

One of the most challenging things to come back from as a homeowner is water damage. The insidious thing is how many ways in which you can become a victim. Flooding, leaks, appliance malfunction, hurricanes, and even fires can bring it around and create devastation to both your structural property and your furniture and belongings. Many homeowners throw up their hands and assume much of what they own will not be salvageable. More often than not, however, there is more to save than you think. Hiring a company that specializes in this type of restoration can be a great first step. In lieu of that, here are some things you can do to begin the clean up process.


Anytime there has been major devastation to your home, regardless of the cause, you need to be concerned with your safety above all other things. After a natural disaster or other catastrophic event, you'll need to wait for the go ahead from local officials to go back onto the property. Don't try to circumvent this. Fire departments are cautious about this, but are so with your safety in mind. Things can often be more dangerous than they appear. Nothing in your home is important enough to risk your life over. If there is flooding, turn off the power to your house, even if the power is out already. You don't want to be ankle deep in water when it surges back on.

In Order of Importance

Tackling a job of any magnitude can be done best by going in order of importance. If there are any major structural issues, those should be addressed first. This includes trees that have fallen on the house, a broken roof, or anything that will allow more water damage to occur. Get your belongings out of harm's way as soon as possible. The more quickly they can begin drying out, the better chance you'll have of salvaging the items. Whether you begin saving your belongings in order of sentimental or actual value is up to you, but it doesn't hurt to have a plan before beginning.

Insurance Claims

You'll want to be as thorough as possible when it comes to documenting your water damage for an insurance claim. Pictures will be your friend in this situation. In addition to photos, write down any notes that will help to substantiate your claims. Call up your company and set up and appointment with an adjuster. While there may be clean up you want to put off until the insurance company has a chance to come by, starting on the clean up (meaning getting rid of excess water and removing your belongings from the flooding) is necessary.

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