Water Damage Do’s and Don’ts

If you have had your home flooded from a broken pipe or other clean water flood source then below are some steps to follow to try and minimize damage to your personal property. Remember to use sound judgement in these steps; if you could receive an injury or if potential harm may come to you or someone assisting you, then skip that step for overall safety.

The Do’s list to minimize damage:

  • Turn off the water if possible.
  • If safe to do so, and have safe access, turn off circuit breakers supplying electricity to the flooded areas.
  • Remove any small electrical devices from the wet areas.
  • Remove small furniture items to minimize furniture stains or rust and to speed up drying.
  • Put wood blocks or aluminum foil under legs of heavy furniture.
  • Lift draperies off carpet. tie drapes together or use a coat hanger.
  • Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying.
  • Dry off wet furniture by wiping with a towel.
  • Remove wet area rugs and hang to dry.
  • Open furniture drawers, closet doors, and luggage to promote drying.
  • Move photos, paintings and art objects to a safe, dry location.
  • Remove books, shoes, paper goods, fabrics, potted plants or other items that may stain the carpet (check especially under beds and in closets for these items).
  • Remove damp books from shelves and spread out to dry.
  • Remove and secure breakables, moisture sensitive or high-value items.
  • Remove wet fabrics and dry them as soon as possible.
  • If damage occurs during a cool season, leave heat on; if in summer, use an air conditioner if possible (provided water has not entered the ducts).

Things that you should NOT do:

  • Do not enter rooms with standing water if the electricity is still on.
  • Do not use electrical appliances and outlets in wet areas.
  • Do not use an ordinary household or shop vacuum to remove water. It can cause damage to the vacuum or result in electrical shock to the user.
  • Do not attempt to clean up contaminated (sewer) water.
  • Do not turn on fans, heating or air conditioning units if water is sewage-related as they may spread the contamination.
  • Do not walk on wet surfaces any more than necessary in order to minimize safety hazards and to keep from spreading damage and possible contaminants.
  • Do not lift tacked down carpet without professional help (lifting the carpet incorrectly could promote shrinkage).
  • Do not place newspaper on wet surfaces since newspaper ink transfers easily.
  • Do not wait to call for professional help.

5 Items Waiting to Flood Your Home

Water can have a devastating effect on the personal items and the structure of your home if a flood should occur. One moment everything is okay, and the next, water is everywhere. Dry Out Systems has identified five items in your home that can wreak havoc in a matter of minutes. These items are used regularly throughout your home. They see a great deal of use and are easily forgotten about. Use this list to inspect these items and to remind yourself of their age to see if replacement may be around the corner.

Hot Water Heater Tips

HOT WATER HEATER

  • About 75 percent of tank water heaters fail by the time they’re 12 years old
  • 70 percent of water heater failures are from leaks or burst tanks
  • What to look for: Check your water heat tank regularly for leaks. Have your water heater tank maintained on an annual basis. Have your water heater tank inspected to include flushing the tank, inspecting the anode rod, examining shut-off values and checking water heater piping. Installing a catch pan with a drain to channel water out on older water heaters in case of a small leak is a good practice.
  • Replace your water heater every 10 years.

Average damage cost estimate: $4,600


Dishwasher Tips

DISHWASHER

  • Your home’s dishwasher has a life span of about 10-12 years.
  • What to look for: Inspect the drain line where it connects to under-sink plumbing. Check the water supply line. If a leak is present replace immediately. It is recommended to use a steel braided hose over the standard hose to increase its longevity.
  • This is something everyone does from time-to-time but it is not recommended: you shouldn’t run the dishwasher while away from home.

Average damage cost estimate: $5,700


Air Conditioner Tips

AIR CONDITIONER

  • If you have an attic air conditioner be aware if it leaks it can cause a great deal of water damage due to its location.
  • What to look for: check to see if you have a secondary drain line and drain pan overflow switch, if not consider having one installed.
  • Have your air conditioner maintained on a regular basis to include checking the refrigerant level and changing the filter.

Average damage cost estimate: $5300


Washing Machine Tips

WASHING MACHINE

  • More than half of all water damage occurring in homes is due to washing machine hoses breaking.
  • What to look for: Inspect hoses once a month. Look for signs of damage to the hoses such as cracks, bulges, discoloration, even kinks. Have a professional replace damaged hoses.
  • Turn off the water supply to the washing machine when you go on vacation.

Average damage cost estimate: $6400


Refrigerator Tips

REFRIGERATOR

  • The main cause for refrigerator water leaks is the ice-maker
  • The life span of an ice maker is less than that of the refrigerator, as low as five years.
  • What to look for: Check to see if you have copper water lines, consider replacing with braided steel as an alternative. Inspect the water supply line located behind the refrigerator annually. Check the compression nut and tighten if loose to prevent a slow drip from causing water damage.

Average damage cost estimate: $3300

Dry Out Systems can assist if any of these household items should ever leak and cause water damage. Our quick response and professional water removal and water restoration services will get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. Please contact us immediately if you experience a water emergency.

Keeping Dry Out Systems Away

What’s the difference between a flooded home and a dry home?

Different Causes of Water Damage

Many people think that water removal companies get a great deal of business from rain and flooding. Some think that we remove water from mostly homes that have a pipe burst in the wall. Still others think the majority of our business comes from water removal from a roof leak or ice dam.

Reduce the Need for Water Removal

While these are many of the causes of water damage that we see from flooded homes year in and year out, there is one cause that gives us a great number of the largest water damage claims that we handle. In fact, it is one of the most preventable cause of home flooding that we encounter. Worse, this type of cause usually floods the whole house very quickly necessitating emergency water removal and drying.

So what is the difference between a flooded home and a dry home? One difference, is the change from standard rubber hoses on washers and refrigerators to the steel braided kind. For less than $20 per appliance, you could reduce the risk of a flooded home and reduce the need to pay a large deductible that could easily go toward great summer fun!

As much as we love new business, we do not love the stress it causes on our customers. So believe us when we tell you how to keep us away. Change those lines today. If you ever do need us, we are just 30 minutes away in most cases! 907-332-0335

When You Need Water Removal

When your home is flooded and in need of water removal it is an unwelcome surprise that could breed damage to your home and stress to your well-being. A sudden and unexpected water removal, can actually cause a tremendous amount of costly damage. It may ruin some items and cause damage to your property, but you can save some of your possessions when you know what to do. The degree to which you can protect your home, belongings, and prized possessions depends greatly on how quickly you act. However, most electrical or electronic items will likely be destroyed.

Immediate Action Required for a Flooded Crawl Space, Home, or Basement

Whether your area is a flooded crawl space, flooded basement, or flooded home, it should be handled promptly and properly to mitigate as much damage as possible. Not only could the structural items, such as drywall, be ruined, but the water soaked materials will be a breeding ground for mold. This is the reason insurance companies make it a part of their policy that the homeowner must take immediate steps to prevent further damage. To make things worse, if immediate action is not taken to prevent mold or other damage, your claim might not get covered.

From Our Water Removal Experts to You

While our water removal experts are trained to know exactly what to do once we get to your flooded home to perform water extraction, and dry the home, we understand that you may have never experienced this in your life. Our team of water removal experts got together to put together a list of things that will help you when you need it most.

What to do When Water Floods your Home, Basement, or Crawl Space

When you need water removal, DO NOT:

  • Stand in areas with wet ceilings that could collapse.
  • Turn on AC or Heat if the area is contaminated with sewage or mold.
  • Do not spread sewer flooding into other areas of the home.
  • Go into any areas that are contaminated with septic overflow, sewage, or mold.
  • Attempt to remove water with a standard vacuum.
  • Bring electrical appliances to an area in which you need water removal.
  • Use extension cords in the flooded area.
  • Use any power in the affected rooms.

When you need water removal, DO:

  • Turn off the main water source or the source of flooding in your property.
  • Turn off circuits to the water damaged areas, if in doing so you will be safe from electrocution.
  • Blot any areas that you can with towels to remove water that could cause you to slip.
  • Find a safe area to move furniture, electronics, rugs, and other items.
  • Begin making a list of damaged, destroyed, or lost items. Take photos, if possible.
  • Remove any wet area rugs to a dry place, such as a garage. Lay them or hang them to dry.
  • Remove perishable items such as newspapers or important papers to a dry area.
  • If you will be safe from electrocution, remove any electronics and electrical appliances.
  • Remove furniture, prop it up, or place aluminum foil on the legs to lessen further damage.
  • If your ceiling is bubbled, not bulging, you can place a trash can under it and make a puncture hole with a screwdriver for the water to flow out, if it is safe from collapse.

A Flooded Home Must be Dried

While most small water removal claims can be handled this way, it is very important to call an experienced company, like Dry Out Systems, to remove damaged materials that typically prevent full drying. It is very important to dry a water damaged home to prevent mold growth. Further, an important aspect provided by Dry Out Systems is insurance claim processing. Having processed more than 10,000 claims in 20 years, we know exactly what to do and how to do it. Some things to remember about the claim process in order to have a solid, paid claim are:

  • Call in your Insurance claim for water removal and drying as soon as possible within 48 hours or less.
  • Make sure that you document any damage to your belongings.
  • Photograph the structural and personal property damage before and after.
  • Make sure you repair the source of the water leakage or, at a minimum, stop it from continuing.
  • Make sure your home is dried properly either by having a professional drying company dry it or have them check for moisture with state-of-the-art moisture detection.
  • Save electricity bills from prior months to help get reimbursement for the cost of drying equipment electricity.
  • Have all of your insurance and mortgage company information available.
  • Understand that the insurance adjuster, while very nice, is working for the insurance company.

A flooded home is serious business, and we know what it takes for proper water removal for protection of your home and your belongings. More importantly, we know just how stressful a water damage occurrence can be. Hopefully, these tips will get you started in the right direction. We can help you further, so call us anytime day or night. For more information about our water removal services click here.

Dry Out Blog With Water Removal…Insurance Pays!

Even worse than having a flooded home, is having a flooded home that your insurance does not pay for. Fortunately, most instances of home flooding are covered by typical homeowner insurance policies. However, there are times in which the insurance company will decline an otherwise covered water loss. This makes it important to take heed to a few simple pieces of advice:

  • Take immediate action to remove water. Insurance companies can decline coverage if they can show that immediate action was not taken to protect the dwelling in the case of water damage.
  • Prevent secondary damage by removing water with an emergency water removal service. Secondary damage could be excluded from coverage if proper action, such as dehumidification, is not taken. Examples of secondary damage are: high humidity, cabinet disintegration, warped wood, warped cabinetry, crown molding peeling from drywall.
  • Prevent mold growth with immediate action. Most insurance companies either exclude or limit mold remediation coverage regardless of the cause. If immediate action is taken in a covered loss, it is very likely that you will be covered fully by your insurance company for water removal necessitated by water damage.