Create A Long Term Plan After Serious Water Damage To Your Home
Water damage must be cleaned up as soon as possible to minimize the damage. However, if the damage is severe, even bringing in a flood damage restoration team may not be able to mitigate all the long term effects. Rather than trying to struggle through without focus, create a plan that will guide you through the long restoration process.
Keep A Dialogue Going With Your Insurance Company
Hopefully, whatever caused the water damage to your home is covered by your homeowner's insurance. Even you aren't sure, you should start a dialogue with them as soon as you know that you have suffered damage. As you go through the claims process, a checklist can help you keep track of everything you still need to do to complete your claim. If you really want to stay organized, you can keep that checklist at the front of a folder filled with all the documentation you have submitted and received from your insurance company.
Since you are calling your insurance company as soon as you know you have damage, you won't know yet how severe the damage is. As the cleanup process continues, you will have to take notes on what was damaged so you can update your claim. Even then, your work won't be over, as you'll need to submit additional documentation and keep talking to your agent until the claim is finally settled. This can take months past the original event, which is why that folder, and checklist, will help you stay on top of what you need to do.
Work On Restoring Damaged Items
When water damage occurs, it is extremely important to start clearing the area as soon as possible. Mold can set in within days, so you have to dry the area quickly to save what you can. Even with that, some items like carpeting and drywall may simply be a loss.
Even though you need to take care of things as quickly as possible, the overall cleanup process takes quite a bit of time. Removing all that drywall and carpet means that you have some remodeling to do. In addition, wood furniture actually needs to dry slowly to minimize warping. Once your furniture has dried completely, you can start stripping and refinishing it. Finish the process with some new upholstery, and your wood furniture will be good as new.
Keep An Close Eye Out For Mold And Mildew
As mentioned, mold and mildew are a serious threat after any sort of water damage. Spores for these organisms live in your home naturally, but they remain small in number as long as they don't have a good source of food and water. Any sort of leak or flooding will give the spores the perfect location to grow and multiply. Once they've settled in, about the only way to remove them is to replace whatever they are living on. Unless you catch the infestation right away, surface cleaners like bleach won't do much to solve the problem.
Working with a professional crew from the outset will reduce the risk of mold as much as possible. They will act quickly to get rid of potential breeding grounds before they become a problem. However, unless you replace absolutely everything that got wet, there is a chance that pockets of moisture could remain in hidden corners and inside walls. For the next few months, you should keep your nose open for the musty smell that signals the growth of spores.
Planning out what to do each month will make it much easier to get back to your life. With that water damage repair plan in place, you can go to work or enjoy time out with your friends without worrying about what is happening in your home or if you are missing an insurance deadline. It will also help you stay organized and minimize the amount of time that you have to spend doing these long term maintenance tasks.