When it comes to water damage, your energy is best spent on prevention. Many hardware stores and home centers sell moisture alarms you can put under sinks and appliances. But it’s also good to know how to handle an emergency. In most cases, these immediate actions can save you significantly:
1. Call a professional. Google or Bing search “emergency restoration” and call a professional remediation company. Tell them your situation, ask if they’re certified, bonded and insured; and see how soon they can be there. Then immediately call your insurance agent and get authorization. In most cases, your agent will instruct you to call the mitigation company back and give them the ok. If you call your insurance agent first, you may get an adjuster with their best interest in mind instead of yours.
2. Move valuables to dry land. Remove everything you can from a wet floor (dyes and stains on furniture may bleed onto the wood or carpeted floors); if you can’t move a piece of furniture, put aluminum foil or a plastic bag under the legs.
3. Lift other items above the water line. Get draperies up off the floor by putting them on clothes hangers and hooking the hanger onto the drapery rod. Remove low-lying accessories from walls and shelving units as moisture can leach up quickly.
4. Pay attention to everything water has touched. Look for water in the carpet or touching a wall. It may have traveled unseen under the carpet, possibly reaching cabinets, walls, insulation, other rooms and the subfloor. This is where mold grows undetected