What Happens After an Instance of Water Damage? How Does Water Restoration Work?
Every winter our phones ring off the hook as homeowners frantically reach out to us about frozen pipes that have burst, causing massive water damage to their homes. Water damage is very upsetting, and when it happens on a large scale, It’s particularly important to know what to do and how to handle water damage so you maximize your savings and minimize losses.
What You Should Do if a Pipe Bursts
Let’s say you just came home from your Christmas vacation and discovered water raining from your kitchen ceiling. What do you do now?
What Happens the Day of the Water Damage
This is what you need to do immediately upon discovering water damage.
1. Make sure the water to your home is turned off at the street. Here in Charlotte (and most southern states), they are typically outside near the curb in a concrete or metal box marked “WATER”. Find that box.
Using pliers or a screwdriver, open the box. Inside you will see two pipes with levers/valves on them. The one that leads into your home is the house valve. The other is the main water supply. Turn off the one on the street side to cut off the water. Once you’ve done this, go inside and turn on a faucet to make sure it worked.
2. Call your insurance company and report the damage. Let them know you are contacting a restoration company to help you with the problem, and ask them to start the process of dealing with water damage.
3.Call a restoration service company and get the process started. They will come out right away to begin the preliminary damage assessment and to start the drying processes.
4. Start removing and drying any important items that got wet. You may need to research specific instructions for items that can be easily damaged by improper drying methods. For example, electronics require special care.
5. Video and photograph your home’s contents for your own records. Video and photo evidence is like insurance; you probably won’t need it, but if you do, you’ll regret not having it.
6. Find a place to stay. Drying your home will require high heat and intense ventilation, and you will need to stay somewhere else while this is done.
The Day After the Water Damage
This is when the work really begins. Here’s what happens:
Your insurance company and the restoration service company will both send out assessors to review the damage. A team of experts will document the level of damage in extreme detail. It’s important to get the restoration service expert there because this is the person who will be representing your interests; after all, the insurance company wants to replace, clean and restore as few things as possible in order to save the insurance company money. The restoration service company representative will advocate for you, getting you as many services and restoration actions approved as possible.
You will want to be at the home while this happens, so take the day off work.
The restoration company will need to begin drying your home as soon as possible to mitigate damage. Water damage must be addressed very quickly in order to minimize damage and maximize insurance coverage of restoration processes.
The Weeks (or Even Months) After the Damage
Depending on the volume of damage and the type of restoration services required, you will probably need to leave your home for a few days to a few weeks while the restoration company properly dries your home and begins restoration processes. For example, if your hardwood floors are being refinished, you will need to be out of the home as they are treated and restored due to the chemicals involved. The drying process itself requires high heat and industrial ventilation efforts.
Thinking of Handling This Yourself? Think Again
Water damage is very costly to repair, and do-it-yourselfers often end up reaching out to us after the damage has set, permanently altering costly home features like ceilings, cabinets, and hardwood floors or carpets. A few fans and a dehumidifier are not going to do the trick. Learn why here.
Need Charlotte Water Restoration Services?
We at E.R. Services will do everything possible to prevent the need for water restoration services, from leak repair to drain maintenance. While we don't offer restoration services, we can put you in touch with another company you can trust which does offer them. Give us a call and we’ll help you get through the process as smoothly and easily as possible.
Quick question & answer: What should I do if I have water damage in my home?
After water damage occurs, you should ensure your home’s water is turned off at the street. Let your insurance know, then call a restoration service company. Take the next day off to be there when insurance and restoration assessors come to document damage. You may need to stay elsewhere for a short time while the restoration company dries your home.