Surprise: you have water damage! What do you do? Although water damage can affect your home at any time of year, spring is generally when most claims happen. Once things start to thaw, and you add in a little rain you can have water seeping into your basement on through your roof in no time. Here’s what you do when water damage hits home:
1. Stop the damage as quickly as possible! Try in any way you can to put an end (at least a temporary one) to the situation. If your hot water tank has burst, cut the water. If your foundation is leaking or your sump is overflowing, try to sop up or block the mess to prevent further damage. If a plumber is required, call immediately.
2. Call your insurance broker –they can then direct your claim to the appropriate person at the company you are insured with. If it is after hours, call your company’s 24 hour claim line. They will help you assess whether your deductible is higher or lower than the amount of damage.
3. Start the drying process immediately. Black mold can appear within hours of water damage. If you are going forward with your claim your insurance company will send a preapproved restoration company over to dry everything out.
4. Make a list of your damaged items for the insurance claim. Try to include serial numbers and/or warranties if possible.
5. The next step is to clean up and restore using the restoration company. These companies will generally pack your belongings, remove any damaged items and then restore your property.
The most important thing to remember when making a claim is to do it quickly so your broker or agent can assess the situation.
Here are some tips to avoid a flooded basement this spring:
- Test your sump pump to make sure it is still working.
- Grade your yard to slope away from your home.
- Clean out your eaves troughs.
- Keep your valuables and boxes at least 6 inches off the basement floor.
- Inspect your roof and repair any damaged shingles.
- Install mainline backwater valve on the sewer line to avoid sewage backup.