Water damage can be an expensive, unexpected problem to fix. In fact, Home Advisor reports that most homeowners spent between $1,000 and upwards of $3,000 on water damage in their home in 2016.
Nobody wants to put their hard-earned money towards water damage expenses, but there are things you can do to minimize the financial impact of water damage from leaky pipes in your kitchen or bathroom.
Get Moving Quickly
Once you spot signs of water damage, you need to act fast. Leaky pipes can cause extensive damage to your home, and mold can become a serious threat to your home and family’s health. If you can easily spot the source of the leak, do what you can do to control it, turn off the water to your home, and call a plumber right away.
Remember that time is of the essence. If you catch a leak early enough, your damage -- and costs -- will be lessened. Letting a leaky problem sit and continue to do damage causes larger expenses and bigger problems later.
But what if the leak is a silent leak in an inconspicuous place? You may not notice it for some time. That’s why it’s always important to be aware of the signs of a leak: bad odors and shrinking, delamination, splitting or other deterioration signs in the materials of your floors and walls.
Get to Work
Once you know you have water damage in your bathroom or kitchen, you need to set a process in motion for cleaning it up. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you should do yourself. Water damage restoration professionals are trained to clean up water until it’s completely gone -- something most people simply don’t know how to do.
Most people think that patting an area dry, and perhaps blasting a fan on the affected area, is enough to clean up any water damage. However, water can travel to places your eye can’t see. And then it sits. And sits. And sits… and causes more and more damage. A trained and certified professional will use the proper techniques and tools to ensure water is removed not only from visible areas, but from places you wouldn’t even think to look.
Use a professional who is IICRC certified (Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) so you can be sure the proper scientific techniques are used to remove water and moisture from your home.
Watch out for Mold
Water damage often occurs in places we don’t regularly see. And so does mold. Mold often grows in between baseboards and walls, under rugs, and in corners of basements. If you already know you have water damage, and have hired an IICRC certified technician, you can rest assured the technician will inspect for mold before the cleanup job is done.
Be Aware of Insurance Stipulations
Traditional homeowners’ insurance often covers damage done by leaky pipes in bathrooms and kitchens. But your insurance company may refuse to pay for repairs if they can prove negligence on your part -- meaning, if you wait too long to have the problem taken care of. Water damage moves and spreads quickly, and a lengthy wait time can cause more damage than would have been caused if the situation was handled right away. That’s why it’s important for you to act as soon as you find water damage.
Watch out for Mold Prevent Water Damage In the First Place
Take small and easy steps now to prevent water damage in the future. Varnish your wood surfaces and install sealants around you doors and windows. Inspect your roof for leaks, and regularly inspect the pipes of your home, looking for rust or visible leaks.
Being a responsible homeowner can be hard work, but when you put in the time to prevent and repair leaks, you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful and safe home -- worry free.