The immediate aftermath of a major storm can be a chaotic, emotional time as you take stock of the damage to your home or business and its contents. There may be fire, water, and wind damage all at once and every minute you hesitate means a greater chance of permanent damage. Follow these action steps to take control of the situation and limit the devastation.
Water is a necessity for people to lead and maintain healthy lives, but the presence of water in your home or business can be hazardous and cause it damage. This is because any excess water will become absorbed by porous building materials and furnishings, such as drywall and wooden furniture. With enough water absorption, the materials can become structurally unsound.
Because of this, water damage can be considered an emergency that requires immediate action. Water damage can occur in so many ways, though, so it’s likely that property owners will deal with water damage at some point. This is also why water damage is the most common form of property damage. Knowing this, it is in your best interest to prevent water damage and flooding from happening. However, some people may question whether water damage is always an emergency.
Continue reading to learn how to determine whether your case of water damage is an emergency.
When is Water Damage an Emergency?
To figure out whether the water damage in your residential or commercial property is an emergency situation, you need to consider the following:
- the amount of water
- the location of the damage
- the source and type of the water
By evaluating the aforementioned details, you can determine whether you have an emergency and need immediate assistance.
The Amount of Water
The more water there is, the more likely you are dealing with an emergency. If there is a limited amount of water, then this may not be an emergency. But if an entire room is flooded enough to be soaking building materials, furnishings, and your personal belongings, then it’s an emergency. This much water can cause a lot of damage quickly. For example, a large volume of water can be enough to soak through a ceiling and damage the area beneath it.
The Location of the Damage
You cannot consider only the amount of water when determining whether water damage is an emergency. This is because some areas will be prone to damage more quickly than others.
For example, limited water in a room with a hardwood floor is not as serious as limited water in a room with a carpeted floor. Carpeting will absorb water much more quickly than hardwood flooring, and water on a hardwood floor can be dried up quicker, too.
The Source and Type of the Water
When dealing with water damage, it is important to know both the source and type of the water, because these details will inform you of whether the water is hazardous.
There are three types of water: clean, gray, and black. Clean water is safe to consume and comes from a clean source, such as the tap water from your kitchen sink. Grey water is water that is relatively clean but contains waste; if consumed, it may cause illness. With enough time, grey water will turn into black water. Common examples of grey water include used water from dishwashing, baths, showers, and clothes washing machines.
Black water is water that has been contaminated with waste, so it contains harmful bacteria; if consumed, it will cause illness. Common examples of black water include water that contains urine and fecal matter.
If you are dealing with black water, then not only is it an emergency, but it must be handled only by qualified professionals. This is because they will have the proper protective gear and equipment to safely address the water and the damage it has caused. In fact, if your home or business has been damaged by black water, then the property may need to be evacuated on a temporary basis.
How Do I Prevent Water Damage and Flooding?
Because of the various ways that water damage and flooding can occur in your home or business, chances are your property will be affected by such at some point. However, water damage prevention is possible if you take the necessary actions.
Perform Regular Maintenance
With proper maintenance for your plumbing system and appliances, you can prevent water damage to your residential or commercial property. This is because regular maintenance will keep appliances and your plumbing system working well with minimal issues.
If any problems do arise, address them right away. The longer a problem goes unattended, the worse the problem can become. For example, if you find that one of the pipes in your home is leaking, the leak needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Otherwise, water will continue to drip and pool up, increasing the likelihood for water damage.
Clean Up Excess Water Promptly
If you encounter any excess water in your home or business, clean it up right away. Any standing water can cause water damage concerns if it continues to sit out. For example, promptly wipe up any water if there’s a spill.
Know How to Shut the Water Off
In the event that you have a water emergency, such as a pipe burst, it is helpful to shut the water off. It prevents more water from spilling out and causing damage. You need to know where the water valve is and how to shut it off. That said, make sure you have this information, and test the valve annually to make sure it works properly. Without testing, valves are prone to sticking. If you encounter a problem with the valve, then get in touch with a plumber.
Professional Water Damage Restoration Help
If you use the aforementioned water damage prevention tips, then you can limit your home or business’s potential for suffering from a water damage emergency. But accidents and emergencies happen. In the event that you have a water damage emergency in your residential or commercial property, then you need to act immediately and seek help from a qualified professional.
ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning provides water damage mitigation services in the Houston, TX, area. We respond on a 24/7 basis to help provide those in need with water damage restoration help. With our water damage restoration services, your property will be free of excess water and moisture and restored to a safe, clean environment.