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Water damage are two of the scariest words a homeowner can hear. We all know what it entails, but few, unless you have unfortunately lived through a burst pipe, storm or leaky roof, know exactly what caused the flood, how much it costs to repair, how to replace the damaged floors, walls and insulation and finally, how to ensure it never happens again.
Below is everything you need to know about water damage inside the home. I will go over some of the most common causes, the costs to repair and a few safety/precautionary tips for all water damage.
Get It Fixed Fast!
If you took one piece of advice away from this article, it’s that you must remove the water and get it fixed as soon as possible. The longer you wait when dealing with water damage, the worse the overall damage will be. Unlike fires that you can put out, water will continue to flow throughout your home, through your walls and floors until it is completely removed. This leaves a lot of different, and complicated, repairs to be made.
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Once called, a good restoration company will remove the standing water using various pumps, water suction tools and high-powered fans. They may have to cut into walls and insulation to see how high the damage goes. Additionally, the specialists or an electrician may have to cut wires and repair certain electric lines throughout the home.
As you can probably guess, if you do not call a pro right away, mold could grow, cause health problems and greatly increase your water restoration bill.
Water Damage Repair Costs
Given the extent of the damage, and the health issues at play (mold), repairing water damage is not cheap. Furthermore, more often than not, the process of removing the water and actually repairing the damage usually come in two separate expenses.
According to our disaster recovery cost estimators, it costs just over $2,000 to remove standing water and $1,796 to repair a water-damaged home. As I said, this price can largely fluctuate based on the extent of the damage, the size of your home and of course, how much water infiltrated the foundation. Moreover, the longer the water remains standing in the home, the more extensive and expensive the repairs will be.
Common Causes of Standing Water & Water Damage
There are obvious causes of standing water, but others many homeowners would not guess. Those causes include:
- Burst pipes
- Leaky roof
- Frozen pipes bursting
- Failed bathtub or toilet seal
- Broken sump pump
- Blocked drainage pipe
- Failed gutters and downspouts
- Foundation malfunction
- Improper grading
- Broken irrigation system
Removing Standing Water
The process of removing standing water largely depends on the cause. If a storm caused the flooding, you may have to wait until the water recedes from around the home. If it was a pipe, a plumber and/or electrician needs to get to work right away. Just know that if this occurs during non-business hours, expect to pay overtime fees.
While we do encourage our fans to try out as many DIY projects as possible, removing standing water is not the safest. On top of the hidden hazards such as rats, live electricity and other dangers, the overall risk of mold and further damage to the home is not worth the DIY experience.
Nonetheless, if you do want to take a stab at it, please see Cleaning Up Your Home After A Flood.
Water Restoration Process
Needless to say, the first step in repairing water damage is to remove all the water. More likely than not, they will use a pump, or some of the other tools mentioned above, to remove all the water from a flooded basement, inside a wall or anywhere else in the home. Once all the water is removed, special dryers will dry the damp areas as quickly as possible. This will help prevent mold growth, which can begin quickly after initial damage.
Once the area is completely dried out, the restoration company will check all walls to see how far the damage has gone. More often than not, you will need to replace some of the drywall and insulation.
Finally, they will check for foundation damage to ensure that the water did not affect the structural integrity of the home. In most cases, foundation damage is not an issue.
Steps to Prevent Water Damage
Sometimes, there is nothing we can do to prevent water damage such as historical storms or a failed sump pump. However, fortunately, there are certain precautionary steps you can take to decrease the odds of water damage. Some steps one should occasionally take are:
- Free all debris from gutters
- Make sure there are no cracks in the foundation
- Position downspouts away from foundation
- Install window well covers
- Keep pipes out of subfreezing temperatures
- Let cold water drip from the faucet occasionally during the summer
- Seal cracks around the home
- Check your roof from time to time
- Double check all HVAC equipment from time to time
If any of the following tasks brings up any issues, make sure you call a pro right away. A small trip from a pro could save you thousands.
Floods may seem like the worst thing in the world, but if you know how to prevent floods and the steps pros take once a flood has occurred, you can rest assured that you have all the tools in place to handle the situation as well as anyone.
Overall, just remember that the longer you wait when dealing with water damage, the worse the overall damage will be. Therefore, call a restoration company as soon as you can.
For more precautionary steps, please see 5 Ways To Prevent Your Basement From Flooding.