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Water Damage Do’s And Don’ts

March 31 2010

According to water damage repair experts, water damage is the number one reason homeowners file claims against their insurance companies.

Fast-growing franchisor 1-800 Water Damage, experts which appear on-site to dry and begin restoration on water-soaked ceilings, walls and floors within 90 minutes of being called by panicked homeowners, say the need for emergency water damage relief is always present, and not because of weather-related storms and floods. “Most water damage calls come as a result of accidents within the home, and are not weather related,” says 1-800 Water Damage President Lisa Bongi. “Water from the failure of indoor appliances, or plumbing, is the second highest specific cause of homeowner’s insurance claims. The average water damage claim is about $4,024.”

Only two out of every 100 insured homes will file a water damage claim within the year, yet 22 percent of all insurance losses are caused by water damage, on average, says Bongi, making water damage an issue for all homeowners.

Should a leak or flood occur, company technicians recommend that homeowners do the following to minimize loss and prevent further damage:

Do’s: 

• Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting the saturated area.
• Wipe furniture to remove excess water.
• Place aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpet.
• Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying.
• Lift drapes off flooring, loop through a coat hanger and hang on curtain rod.
• Remove wet area rugs.
• Turn on air conditioner if damage occurs in summer.
• Move valuable paintings, art objects and photos to a safe, dry place.
• Open closet doors, furniture drawers, and luggage to aid in drying.
• Remove any wet fabrics and dry immediately.
• Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
• Stay out of any rooms where the ceiling is sagging from trapped water.

Don’ts

• Use your household vacuum to remove the excess water.
• Use electrical appliances while standing on wet flooring or carpets.
• Do not enter any room with standing water while electricity is still on.
• Do not lift tacked carpet without professional help.
• Do not enter any room where the ceiling is sagging.
• Wait to call for professional help. The longer you wait, the more damage will occur.

For more information, see: 1800WaterDamage.com/SafetyTips.