Assessing Water Damage in Your Home
Water damage in your home can have far-reaching consequences if not dealt with swiftly. It can be tempting to think that once you have mopped up by excess water and dried the area out, that the issue has been resolved. In many cases, the damage done from a flood, burst pipe, or other water damage is hidden, especially if you didn't look too far beyond cosmetic damage.
How can you reasonably check for water damage in your home and what should you be looking for?
Stop the flow of water and power.
In the first instance, you must stop any water flow to your home. Whether the damage has been caused by internal or external pipework damage or via an act of nature, stopping water flowing around your home will enable you to deal with the issue at hand instead of making the problem worse.
Turn off the power too to remove any risk to life when assessing flood damage. This isn't usually required for small leaks; however larger floods it is advisable to turn off any power being fed into your home.
Dry The Area
Thoroughly dry the area using any means necessary as soon as possible. Mould and mildew can start to form in as little as 24 hours in standing water so you must dry the area as soon as you are physically able to and it is safe to do so.
Check Walls and Permanent Fixtures
Moisture can hide in many different areas and be soaked up by different material around the home. It may be worth your while to lift any carpets and rugs and check walls, skirting boards and home decor for signs of damp and water damage. Check porous materials such as wood for signs of water damage and look for mould growth in your home.
It may be that you need to get professionals in to assess any water damage and begin water damage restoration on your home. Qualified professionals in this area can work with you to assess any damage and let you know how best to approach any work required not to compromise your home's structural integrity.
Assess any damage
Look for damage to any fixtures and fittings and remove any loose debris from the area. If possible, remove any appliances from the water damaged area and allow to dry before using again to check for any damage fully. If the leak was internal or from outdoor flooding look at how the water entered your home and identify any repairs required to resolve this issue once the area is arid and free from water.
Contact your Insurance Company
In the event of major flood damage to your home, you will need to contact your insurance company to help with the cost of repairing or replacing damaged items. If you need structural repairs or major renovations, check the company you choose can fully converse with insurance companies to enable a smoother process to get work underway faster and with less disruption than you have already faced.