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Suggestions For Dealing With a Water Emergency

It’s happened. There’s water everywhere – in your walls, under your carpets and soaking into your belongings. Whether caused by a burst pipe, a broken water heater or flooding, there are things you can do immediately to salvage belongings and limit damage or loss. Here are some suggestions from First West Insurance that will help you in the event of a water loss.

  1. Stop the water. If the water is coming from inside your home, such as a burst pipe or water heater malfunction, shut off the main water valve immediately. (Make sure everyone in your home knows where the shutoff valve is located.)  
  2. Turn off the utilities* – if the situation calls for it. In a serious water event, turning off the power or natural gas might be necessary to ensure your and others personal safety. 
  3. Prevent electrocution. Do not use any electrical appliances if the carpet or flooring surfaces are wet. Use a wet vacuum to remove water, but check the manufacturer’s instructions before starting.  
  4. Use fans to circulate air and encourage drying. This is especially important in the first 24-48 hours after an indoor flood.  
  5. Get water out quickly (and safely). Fast action on your part can prevent further damage, help you save more of your belongings and minimize the time and expense of repairs. Clean up as much water as possible by mopping or blotting with towels.  
  6. Get property to a dry location. As much as possible, move belongings to a dry area. Put furniture on blocks or slide a square of aluminum foil under furniture legs to prevent the wood stain from bleeding into carpeting.  
  7. Remove area rugs from the floor. The dyes in carpets can stain flooring, carpeting or wood floors.  
  8. Do not lift tacked down carpet without professional help. It could cause carpet to shrink.  
  9. Launder any clothes or other washables that have been soaked as soon as possible. 10. Wipe excess water from furniture. Open drawers and cabinet doors for faster drying. Spread out books to speed drying and prevent further damage.
  10. Watch for debris and pests. If water is flowing in your house there may be dislodged materials such as nails, or pests such as snakes or vermin.  
  11. Report claims as soon as possible. The sooner you report damage, the sooner your insurance company can help you get your home and life back to normal.  
  12. Save all of your receipts for the costs of any rental equipment or payments made to professional services or contractors that were used to stop further damage to your property.  Make a list of items that were water damaged-this will help us process your claim faster. Document any damage with photos, video, bills and receipts if possible. Don’t throw out any damaged items until you have talked to your claims adjustor.

*In the case of a minor water situation there may not be a need to shut off the utilities, and doing so may leave your home without power until the utilities can be turned back on again.

Contact us for more information about preventing water damage in your home.