Angie’s List Reports: Water damage and flood

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Water damage is the second-most-common reason homeowners file an insurance claim. Those claims cost insurance companies about $3.5 billion every year.

In today’s Angie’s List Report, Angie Hicks tells us what to do when the water rises inside your home. 

Take action right away to the water damage

Broken pipes, overflowing tubs, and toilets are usually the main culprits. A quick reaction is key to the clean-up effort.

“You want to take action right away, so as soon as you realize it,” Angie said. “Start removing any items that can be removed and get fans blowing in the area so you can start to dry it out.” 

Jennifer Mauck with Langenwalter said, “Optimally, we will dry out a structure in three days. So we come out, extract the water, place drying equipment and then we check back the following days to make sure it’s drying properly.”

Get a professional to prevent mold

Three days is a best-case scenario if cabinets or drywall gets wet. More gear and labor is required to prevent the possibility of mold. 

“We drill holes in the wall and then force air into the area behind the wall. Mold likes to grow in dark, no-air-movement, warm places,” Mauck said.

If there’s significant damage Angie’s List strongly recommends hiring a certified restoration professional with the equipment and experience to get you dried out. But check credentials carefully before hiring. 

A reputable pro will be available any day of the week – even in the middle of the night.  And they should help you document all items to aid your insurance claim.

“We take a lot of pictures,” Mauck said. “We talk through things with the homeowner as we’re pulling stuff out of a basement and putting it upstairs or in the garage. And we go through and catalogue things with the homeowner.”

Angie says if you have carpet that gets saturated, toss it and buy new. Also, if you store items in the basement, use plastic tubs instead of cardboard boxes or paper bags. And opt for area rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpet.