Water Damage DO’s and DON’Ts
According to the American Insurance Association, water damage claims are the fastest growing claims. But, and an estimated 93% of water damage is preventable. Water damage is the most frequently filed insurance claim in the U.S. and billions of property damages each year are a direct result from water damage. Here are some water damage cleanup tips, as well as dos and don’ts after water damage.
Understanding the 3 Water Damage Categories
Category 1 – Clean Water: Uncontaminated water from sources like sink overflows and boiler pipes.
Category 2 – Grey Water: Water that may contain contaminants from sources like the sump pit or dishwasher discharge.
Category 3 – Black Water: Contaminated water from sources like sewage spills and floodwater.
If you don’t know what is causing the leak, clog, or drain problems, treat all water-impacted spaces as toxic and keep pets and children from the contaminated area. Do not track the contaminated material into areas that are free of damage or attempt to decontaminate areas with over-the-counter cleaners.
If Water Damage Occurs: DOs
- Turn off the source of the water and turn off any breakers for wet areas if the distribution panel is safe to access.
- Remove excess water by mopping, blotting and wiping.
- Turn fans on clean surfaces that may have absorbed water (like drywall or plywood subflooring).
- Remove wet cushions, fabric, and pillows for even drying.
- Move any valuables or items sensitive to moisture (like pictures, paintings, electronics, fur, leather or documents) to a safe, dry place.
- If the weather is warm outside, use a dehumidifier to help reduce the water damage process, drying the space and avoid mold growth.
If Water Damage Occurs: DON’Ts
- Do not enter any rooms that may be at risk for an electrical shock hazard.
- Do not wait to start water cleanup unless electrical hazard situations cannot be mitigated.
- Do not use a regular vacuum to clean up water.
- Do not leave printed materials on wet surfaces where the ink may transfer and stain.
- Do not turn on any electronics on wet surfaces or carpets.
Effects of Water Damage
Water will damage many surfaces, especially if it is not cleaned and dried properly. You may risk potential health impacts with allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory issues if