Updated: Jul 17
Water is the universal solvent, which is fine when you are making dinner or marveling at the Grand Canyon. But when it comes to your home, water's ability to dissolve everything it touches is far less welcome. Learn more about the hidden dangers of water damage.
Even a small amount of water damage can spell big trouble for the house you live in, and for your wallet. That is why it is so important to watch out for the warning signs of water damage, but detecting that damage is only the first step.
What you do next matters even more, and time is definitely of the essence. With fast action, the damage from standing water, leaking pipes and other household emergencies can be mitigated, reducing the long-term consequences and saving you money in the process. Here are some water mitigation strategies that just might save your home.
Identify the Source
When you are in a hole, you need to stop digging, and when your home suffers water damage you need to stop it from getting worse. Before you do anything else, you need to identify the source of the water damage and find out where the moisture is coming from.
Whether the source is an underground pipe that has sprung a leak, a crack in your foundation walls or a basement with high humidity, identifying the cause is always the first step. Once you know where the damage is coming from, you can work to mitigate the damage and protect your home.
Water damage can be dangerous to your home, but it can also pose risks to your physical safety. From live wires buried under inches of storm water to structural deficiencies brought on by excessive moisture, these dangers are all too real.
Before you can mitigate the water damage, you need to make sure your home is safe, so call in a professional to help you assess the situation. Once you know your property is safe and your home is structurally sound, you can continue your water mitigation work.
Remove Waterlogged Items
Water can destroy nearly everything it touches, from the boxes in your basement to the furniture in your living room. But if you act fast and take the right steps, you can preserve those waterlogged items and prevent mold and mildew from setting in.
If your basement has suffered flooding or other water damage, getting water-damaged items dried out and aired out is an essential first step. Chemical preservatives can also help prevent mold and mildew; just make sure you use the appropriate cleanser for the type of item you are treating.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, the water damage you suffered may be covered. That insurance coverage can provide the funds you need to replace ruined furniture banish mold from your basement and otherwise recover from the moisture-related damage.
Before proceeding with the water mitigation, contact your insurance company to report the situation. Once you know what is covered and what is not, you can develop a recovery plan that makes sense for your home and your budget.
Watch for Signs of Mold
Even after the waters recede, the danger may not be over. Even a mild flooding event can sharply increase the risk of mold, and it is important to watch out for the warning signs.
A well-known study revealed inactive mold spores in the vast majority of drywall products. In the absence of moisture, those mold spores remain inactive, but when water damage occurs they start growing. If your home has suffered water damage, mold remediation should be one of your top priorities.
Common symptoms of mold infestation include a damp musty odor, visible mold spores on the walls and ceiling and damage to your stored items. If you notice any of these warning signs, you may want to invest in further moisture mitigation, including professional mold removal.
Water damage is a major problem, one that could have long-lasting consequences for your home. If you suspect water damage or excess moisture, you do not have any time to waste. The faster you act, the easier it will be to recover. Get started now.
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