Immediate Steps to Take if You Suffer From Water Damage
Let’s face it, water damage is threatening to your property’s value and can cause some serious, well damage. Whether you’re facing a storm; a flood; leaks from a weakened roof, HVAC or busted pipes; or experience overflowing appliances, water damage can wreak havoc in an array of emergency situations. To prevent further damage and to increase chances of salvation, it is critical to act quickly within the first 24 hours. Considering you have safely evacuated the premises and safety officials have declared it safe, follow these steps to immediately rectify your business from water damage.
Avoid Additional Risks
Upon returning to your property, survey the premises and document any visible structural damage that may further endanger you and your property. Look for signs of warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, and holes. If safety officials haven’t done so already, contact utility companies to cease all water and electrical sources. Even if the power is still out upon your return, physically turn off the main power line and individual fuses to avoid risk of electrocution should the power be reactivated.
While surveying your property, take photos and document all damages. Digital photos will allow you to properly store, back-up and transfer files quickly and conveniently. Be sure to document all damages prior to removing any water or starting on any repairs; otherwise, you risk decreasing the extent of your insurance coverage.
Contact your Insurance Provider
Contacting your insurance provider is critical immediately following water damage and your return to the property. Your insurance provider will be able to assess the situation, file a claim, determine whether or not the damage is severe enough to send an adjuster, and provide invaluable next steps. They will also ask for the documentation you’ve collected so it’s important to have that readily available. Pro Tip: if government authorities have declared your region a ‘disaster area’, property owners may have access to increased resources, services and financial assistance.
Secure the Property
Place board over broken windows, fasten tarps, and carryout other measures to avoid further leaks and water damage. Be sure to document all of your efforts to secure your property from further damage. If these precautionary steps are not taken and something else happens, additional damages may not be covered by your insurance provider.
Mitigate Mold Damage
It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to develop following a flood or water damage. If items have been wet for less than 48 hours, they may be salvageable. Remove wet contents such as carpeting and furniture as soon as possible. If an item has been exposed longer than 48 hours, it may be harder and more expensive to salvage. If possible, you can start the drying out process within 24 hours and eliminate mold and mildew growth by:
- Removing wet furniture or lifting it off of carpet
- Place aluminum foil or other carpet separators on furniture to prevent carpet stains
- Remove and hang area rugs to dry
- Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out wet areas
- Turn air conditioning on to help remove humidity and speed the drying process
Contact A Professional Restoration Service
If any amounts of water need more than a mop and you’ve followed the immediate steps to secure your business, water removal may require professional attention. SERVPRO of SW Orlando has the expertise, training and equipment to quickly remedy water damages and help your business get back to working order faster. Give SERVPRO of SW Orlando a call at 407-704-0327.