What to Do if I Have a Water Loss in My Home?
Contact your insurance company right away to report the water claim even if you are unsure whether your insurance policy covers the water loss and/or resulting mold. Have your policy number handy and be prepared to answer questions about the extent and severity of the water damage.
Regardless of whether your insurance policy covers the water loss or resulting mold, you should take immediate action to protect your property and prevent mold growth that could cause further damage.
Mold can start to grow as soon as 24-48 hours after a water problem occurs. Mold will probably not grow if you clean up the water immediately and stop the source of the leak. Here are some steps you can take:
- Immediately stop the source of leaking or flooding by shutting off the water or contacting a plumber if necessary. If the loss is covered by insurance, your policy allows you to make reasonable and necessary repairs to protect the property. However you should not make large structural or permanent repairs until your insurer has inspected the damage.
- Remove excess water with mops and/or a wet vacuum. If there is a lot of water damage, you may want to contact a water extraction/drying company for immediate action. If many homes are affected, you may be placed on a waiting list.
- Dry the damaged areas and items as soon as possible (preferably within 24-48 hours) by moving rugs, pulling up areas of wet carpet, and removing wallboard and flooring materials. Increase circulation by opening closet and cabinet doors, moving furniture away from the walls, and running fans.
- Keep all removed and damaged materials for your insurance company to view. Keep all receipts, photos and other relevant information necessary to document the loss and expenses you incurred to minimize the damage