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Prestige Insurance Group, Inc.

Man Sitting In Flooded Living RoomWhether you're facing burst pipes, sudden flash flooding, or an ongoing leak, water damage can be absolutely devastating to a home. Not only can it attract mold and mildew, but it can also wreck your furniture, clothing and walls. What you do in the beginning when dealing with that water damage is absolutely crucial to saving your property.

Steps to Take When First Encountering Water Damage in Your Home

  • Stop the Flow of Water: If the source of the excess water is obvious and can be stopped, take every measure that you can to stop the water from flowing into your home or going where you don't want it to go. If it's a matter of a burst pipe, turn off the water. If it's flowing in through a crack or some other means, see if there is a way to block the flow.
  • Put on Protective Gear: If you have standing water in your home and you have to touch it or wade in it, put on protective gear like boots and gloves. This will keep any contaminants which may be in the water away from your skin, preventing microbes, bacteria, and other nasties from entering your body.
  • Keep Pets, Children, and the Elderly Away from Spills: Once you've gotten your protective gear on, the next thing to do is make sure that pets, children, and the elderly are away from the spill. While it may seem that your home has become a wonderful water park to the kids and the pets, this is not the time for them to take advantage of the watery wonderland in your living room.
  • Call Your Insurance Company: If your water problems are more serious than a tiny spill, give your insurance company a call to start the claims process and get initial guidance. Not taking this step can reduce the chances of a good settlement. Standing water takes a lot more time and effort to clear up, and the drying and restoration process should be done by a professional. It can get quite expensive, so make sure you follow procedure.
  • Bring in the Water Damage Professionals: If you have called the insurance company for your water damage, then you should also take the time to call water damage professionals near you for assistance. All of them will have emergency services.
  • Turn Off the Power: Before the next step, you want to have the power turned off to the area. This is a simple safety measure which will reduce the chances of getting electrocuted from the water touching a live power outlet.
  • Take Pictures: Take pictures. Take lots of pictures. When the water damage restoration professionals get a hold of your place, they're going to bring it back as good as new. You want to make sure to take plenty of pictures beforehand so that the insurance company is able to see visual proof that your home was damaged by the water. There's no such thing as too many pictures. You might have to step into the water to get the good angles, and with the protective gear that you put on your feet and hands — as that will make it safer.
  • Start Getting it Out: If you've got a sump pump in the basement, turn it on and start working the water out of the basement. If you're looking at water all over the floor from a burst pipe of some sort, try to find a wet-vac that you can use to suck up the water. If you're not able to, that's fine; the water professionals that you called will be able to help you. At the very least, take vulnerable goods out onto the lawn or to a higher floor so they can dry out.
By the time that your water damage professionals get to the scene, you should have at least some of the water under control. Every step that you take to make it easier on them will make it easier for you and your pocketbook down the line.

About the Author

Michael Jacobs is the head of public relations department at with primary focus on customer satisfaction. His main talking points are water damage restoration, environmental friendly house building and plant cultivation.
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