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Action Plan for Water Damage Discovery: What to Do

Updated: May 31

When you walk down your basement steps or into your laundry room only to be confronted with serious water damage, what to do next might not be a question that you have considered before. But it’s important to act quickly in these situations — the sooner you schedule professional water damage restoration, the better. Here’s what you need to know about what to do next!

Step One: Protect Family Members and Valuables

One of the most vital steps to take after water damage is to ensure the safety of your family members and pets. Before you start water damage repair, re-enter your property, or investigate the origin of the water damage in your home, take these essential safety precautions:

Turn Off Power Sources

Water and electricity can exacerbate home damage and cause injury to children, pets, or loved ones. Protect family members by keeping them away from flooded areas near electrical sources. If flooding has occurred, turn off the power to circuit breakers immediately.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment

Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as rubber boots and gloves or goggles (and make sure a professional tells you re-entry is safe) before entering affected areas. PPE can protect from unnecessary injury while investigating the scene and moving any salvageable furniture or valuables.

Step Two: Identify the Source

When dealing with flooding, it might not always be obvious how big the problem is or where it originates. If the scene is safe, try to assess the situation and locate the leak or flood source. Understanding more about the source and the extent of the damage helps water damage restoration professionals effectively address the issue. Furthermore, identifying the leak’s origin will help assess the severity of the flooding that has already occurred.

Step Three: Call Your Insurance Company

You may be assuming that property restoration after water damage will be expensive, but insurance may cover most or all of the repair costs. If you have homeowner’s insurance, your policy likely has some type of provision for water damage. Promptly reporting the event to your insurance provider ensures the best chance of receiving reimbursement, so it’s time to pick up the phone and make a few calls.

Report as many details as you can within 24 hours of the incident, including the time and cause of the damage, the areas of your home affected, and any immediate actions you have taken to mitigate further damage. Be sure to document everything with photos and detailed descriptions. This documentation will be crucial for the insurance adjuster's visit and will help ensure your claim is processed accurately and swiftly.

As you prepare for the adjuster's inspection, keep all receipts related to temporary repairs and any costs incurred in protecting your property. These might include expenses for things like plastic sheeting, portable fans, dehumidifiers, and even temporary lodging if the home was deemed unsafe to inhabit. Presenting a comprehensive record of these expenses will aid in a full and fair assessment of the damages by your insurance company.

It's also wise to ask your insurance agent about the specific terms of your policy. Some policies may cover the costs of restoration fully, while others could have certain limitations or deductibles that apply. Understanding these details beforehand can help you manage expectations and plan financially for the recovery process.

If you feel overwhelmed by the insurance claims process, remember that DK Environmental offers assistance in claim handling. Our experienced team can guide you through the necessary steps to ensure your claim is represented accurately, maximizing your potential coverage benefits.

A Note on HOAs & Insurance

If you belong to a homeowners association (HOA), it may be wise to contact them as well. Some Homeowners Associations provide policies for flooding insurance coverage and reimbursement, so it’s a good idea to contact your HOA and inquire about potential water damage recovery coverage. Remember to keep a log of communication with the HOA, as you might need to provide proof when you file an insurance claim.

Step Four: Call a Water Damage Restoration Professional

Contacting a water damage restoration company is the most important part of addressing a water damage incident. Receiving high-quality, top-rated care for a flooded property is vital.

While water removal may seem as simple as drying wet areas and extracting water, rehabilitation can be complicated and requires professional attention. Allowing professionals to address flooding issues in a property gives it the highest chance of being fully restored to pre-loss conditions without lasting structural damage.

Our team utilizes a range of advanced methods and technologies, including:

Thermal Imaging Cameras

These devices help detect water presence that is not visible to the naked eye, identifying all areas of moisture that could cause hidden damage.

Advanced Water Extraction Equipment

Specialized tools, including submersible pumps and industrial-strength wet/dry vacuums, are used for removing water. These tools are crucial in handling large volumes of water that can soak into carpets, flooring, and walls and cause mold growth.

Air Movers and Dehumidifiers

Once water is extracted, the drying process begins. Air movers are powerful fans that facilitate the efficient drying of surfaces. Dehumidifiers are used to remove moisture from the air and maintain optimal humidity levels, ensuring a thorough and effective drying of the area.

Moisture Meters

Throughout the restoration process, professionals use moisture meters to measure the moisture content in walls and floors, ensuring the area is completely dry. This step is vital to prevent mold and mildew growth. Spreading mold spores throughout your home can result in health issues, especially if the mold is extensive.

Sanitizing and Odor Removal

After drying, areas are sanitized and treated for odor removal. This involves using antimicrobial and mold remediation treatments to ensure that the space is not only dry but also clean and healthy.

Step Five: Follow Our Advice

If you’ve reached this step, you likely still have a lot of questions on your mind about what to do after water damage has occurred at your residential or commercial property. You may be stuck on what to keep and what to throw away after a water damage event or wondering when you can move back into your home. No two water damage events are identical, so your best bet is to consult with experts. We will let you know more specific information about what to do when you have water damage, whether it’s due to local flooding, a broken washing machine, or a failed sump pump.

We’re Here to Help!

When water damages your home, you don’t have to deal with it alone. Our professional water damage restoration experts at DK Environmental offer 24/7 emergency assistance and top-notch customer service. We are equipped with industry-leading extraction and restoration tools to repair your home. Contact us today to book restoration services in Seattle now, and we’ll be there ASAP!

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