Water damage can occur from a flood stemming from any number of factors; such as a burst pipe or an overflowing sink or toilet. In addition, floods can range greatly in their size and amount of damage caused. Regardless of the source or size, water damage is serious business and should be taken care of as soon as possible.
If the water in your home or business is still flowing, your number one priority should be to shut it off, if possible. If you cannot tell where the water is coming from, it’s a good idea to shut off the main water supply to the entire house or business. You may also want to shut off the power in order to prevent any electrical shocks, especially if the floodwater is in danger of reaching any electronic devices.
Immediately after this, call a water damage specialist. Fixing water damage after a flood—whether major or minor—is a huge ordeal and should be taken care of by a professional. At the very least, if done incorrectly, mold can grow in any of the affected areas and cause severe health problems. In addition, a water damage specialist will ensure that special attention is paid to your unique situation, because some types of water damage require more treatment than others.
Because not every situation involving water damage constitutes an insurance claim, it’s not absolutely necessary that you contact your insurance company immediately after a flood. Generally, a water damage professional will give you information on how to proceed in terms of insurance claims. In any case, though, make sure that you try to leave everything in your home or business the way it was before being damaged by water. If certain items require immediate removal, make sure that you have video or photo documentation of the process, as well as full documentation of all damages incurred. This will greatly aid you in the event that an insurance claim does need to be made. Again, pictures and videos are great ways to easily keep a record of the damage, and they serve as hard evidence for your insurance company.
You should also keep receipts from all purchases made related to the cleanup process; such as professional services, rented equipment, or repairing tools.
It may be tempting to try to fix water damage in your home or business entirely by yourself, and thereby spare the expense of professional services. The reality, however, is that the damages incurred from only an inch of water can be catastrophic if treated improperly— and end up costing significantly more to fix than if they had been addressed professionally from the get-go. Remember: when remedying water damage, always call a professional water damage specialist.