So there has been a bad storm or maybe the plumbing leaked. Or maybe there was a fire and you are shocked to learn how much water damage can happen in the course of fighting a fire. What do you do next?
1. Call A Local Water Damage Remediation Professional
It is critical that water damage be dealt with as quickly as possible. The longer things remain wet, the worse it will be.
Among other things, putting it off can foster the growth of mold. So immediately call a local professional to let them know you need service and make an appointment to have the damage assessed.
Yes, this should be the very first thing you do. Pull out your cell phone and make the phone call before you do anything else.
2. Put Safety First
Assess whether or not you can safely even remain in the home. If necessary, evacuate and stay elsewhere until the property is habitable again. Do not enter any rooms with sagging ceilings and do not touch any water that may be exposed to live electrical circuits.
Be very careful to try to avoid slipping and falling which is one of the most common types of injuries when there has been a water damage event. Be careful about trying to pick up and remove wet items. They may well be far heavier than you expect which can cause back strain or even cause you to fall.
3. Remove Stain Hazards From Carpets
The difference between drying out the carpets or having to replace them can come down to how badly stained they are. Print magazines, books, and even throw rugs can be sources of stains for your wall-to-wall carpeting. Pick them up and get them out to try to protect your carpets.
4. Remove Loose Items
You may wish to focus on gathering up any small valuables you can reach, such as artwork of various sorts of jewelry. Whether it’s valuable or not, pick everything up and get it out of the way. Items laying around are potential tripping hazards, plus small items that can be readily removed are low-hanging fruit for beginning the restoration process.
Removing the small stuff will help clear the way for larger items to be moved. You may feel overwhelmed and like there are larger problems that need to be handled first but you are wrong. This is an important early step in the process.
5. Begin Removing Water, If You Can
If the amount of water is relatively small, you can begin the cleanup process while waiting for the professionals. Mop the floors, wipe down wood furniture and blot dry whatever you can.
Do not use a household vacuum cleaner to try to suck up the water. It may seem like a logical step at the moment, but it’s really not. It will not effective and is a dangerous thing to try.
6. Start The Insurance Claim
Call your insurance broker, your insurance company, or an independent insurance adjuster. If you are frazzled, your broker may be able to help you file the claim.
For a very large claim, an independent adjuster will most likely get you the best settlement. They do this every day, so they have valuable experience.