Water: we all need it, and it’s everywhere in your home. It travels through pipes, it fills your sinks and toilets, and it rushes in from a distant reservoir and out to a water treatment plant. Outside, it fills streams and ponds and perhaps a pool. It falls from the sky.
But if you’re unlucky, these aren’t the only places water will be. Excess rainfall may push it up and over the sides of your pool or out of a nearby creek. A burst pipe can send it pouring down a wall or falling from a ceiling. A clogged pipe or faulty septic or sewer system can send filthy water up from your floors and basement.
If this happens to you, stay calm. A water disaster is a terrible thing, but it’s something that plenty of people have dealt with and recovered from. Here’s what you need to do.
Do you have insurance?
If you have a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, you may be covered. Check over your policy and see if you can file a claim. You may find that it depends on the nature of the problem – a burst pipe is more likely to be covered than a flash flood, for instance. In many cases, flood insurance is sold separately from homeowner’s insurance. If you’re reading this and haven’t had a water disaster yet, be proactive! Check over your policy and consider adding flood insurance if you’re not covered.
If you feel that you should be covered, but your insurance company isn’t cooperating, you aren’t out of options yet. Speak with a lawyer and see if you have a case. Your insurance company may settle out of court for more money, or you may be able to win everything you have a right to in court.
Call in the clean-up crew
You’re not the first person to experience a water disaster in your home. It’s a common enough occurrence, in fact, that there are professionals who make their living cleaning up incidents just like yours! Look in the phone book or online for water damage repair specialists. These pros do remarkable work with powerful vacuums and fans. Damage that looks irreversible may vanish before your very eyes!
Of course, cleaning up the mess isn’t quite the same as completely restoring your space. Water damage repair specialists can dry out your carpets and take other steps to undo the damage, but it may be worth working with them or another professional to renovate your space following the flood.
Fix it up
Drying out the carpet may be enough in some cases, but in others you’ll want to completely replace your flooring. A flooring company can help you with that, and other contractors can help you replace other things – cabinets, drywall, wallpaper, paint, and more – that have been irreparably damaged by the water (in some cases, the water damage restoration specialists from the previous section will take care of these steps for you – but in others, a second contractor may be required). If you were lucky enough to get insurance money, you won’t end up paying for much (if any) of this yourself. There’s a silver lining in every cloud, and the silver lining to water damage is the chance to update your flooring and re-do your space.