Heavy rain, rapidly melting snow, rising rivers, and breaches in levees or dikes can cause vehicle flood damage and the need for difficult and expensive auto repairs. Once floodwaters rise above the vehicle door openings, extensive disassembly may be required for cleaning. To avoid causing additional problems, never attempt to start a flood-damaged car until a thorough vehicle inspection has been performed by a qualified technician.
Roofs. Keep roofs free of debris that can damage roofing and allow water to seep in. Trim tree branches to prevent them from rubbing and damaging the roof. Repair missing or damaged shingles. Properly seal any cracks around chimneys, skylights, and vents. Check metal flashing for holes, cracks, or other damage. Replace flashing or use silicone caulk to seal any openings.
Inspect damaged materials for mold and mildew. Mold can start to grow in the right conditions in as little as 24 hours. For long-term issues, like mold caused by attic condensation, the mold may have started growing a long time ago. And if you find mold and mildew issues, you need to be very careful. Some mold is toxic to humans, and all mold is very damaging to the materials it infests. For small mold issues, cut out the material, bag it, and throw it away immediately. For serious mold issues, get out of the area, shut down any airflow (to avoid spore contamination) and call a professional. And keep in mind that mold can show up in hidden areas like inside walls or under floors, so this inspection and water damage repair will be ongoing.
Hurricanes and river flooding are common natural causes, as are high water tables and improperly graded ground. Installing a sump pump and water alarm are sensible preventions in areas with high water tables. The sump pump will pump water from under the foundation to drain it away from the home and averages about $1,200 to install. The sump pump itself will cost between $50 to $400. Also, ground that slopes towards the basement of the home can lead to leakage in the basement and increased stress on sewage systems.
To prevent water damage, you should replace your washing machine supply hose at least once every five years. Also, resist the temptation to overload your washing machine. Constantly stuffing too many clothes into your washing machine could loosen gaskets and valves or cause cracks. Take good care of your washing machine and your washing machine will take good care of you.
After this type of catastrophic event, it's typically best to replace certain types of equipment rather than try to recover items such as receptacles, light switches, start-stop stations, fire alarm panels, and metering equipment. Your crews must also drain all the conduits by opening up the conduit covers and letting gravity drain out all water and debris.
Insurance is offered by Safeco Insurance Company of America and/or its affiliates, with their principal place of business at 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. This website provides a simplified description of coverage. Nothing stated herein creates a contract. All statements made are subject to the provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. Please refer to actual policy forms for complete details regarding the coverage discussed. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails. Coverages and features not available in all states. Eligibility is subject to meeting applicable underwriting criteria.
Water damage is a serious problem that needs immediate attention fast. The faster water damage is treated, the more furniture and valuable items are saved from permanent damage. Water damage may happen at any time and the most common cause is flooding. Floods may be caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes and excessive rainfall. Sometimes flooding may occur due to leaking faucets, broken sewage pipes, and waste buildup under sink drains.
No type of flood damage, no matter the source of the water, is covered by standard homeowners policies. Flooding, for example, can occur from storms, over-saturated ground, overflowing or surging bodies of water such as rivers, ponds, lakes and oceans. You may be able to purchase a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.
In addition, it’s important to have a working flashlight and turn off all water and electrical sources within the home, says Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Disaster Preparedness.” Even if the power isn’t operational, it’s a good idea to go to your fuse box and turn off the main, plus all of the individual fuse connections. That way, if the power is reactivated, you’re not at risk for mixing standing water and electricity.
Showers, tubs, sinks, toilets, windows, and doors. Water leaks around bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets can cause damage because the leak is often out of sight. To prevent leaks, make sure you have a watertight seal of caulk around tubs, sinks, toilets, tubs, shower stalls, windows, and doors. Cracks or mold on caulk or tile grout may indicate that you don't have a watertight seal. Remove all caulk or grout, clean and dry the surface thoroughly, and apply fresh caulk. Don't apply new caulk or grout on top of the old materials.
If you still do not understand why something isn't covered, and you think there is a chance for a review of your situation, don't be afraid to ask your agent or representative for a review or a second opinion. In a stressful situation like a claim, it is understandable that things may not be expressed clearly on either side. You want to make sure you understand fully.
A flood-damaged car that has been totaled should have a “salvage” title, but some sellers use lax registration procedures in certain states to “launder” titles and eliminate the salvage branding. Buyers should also know that flood-damaged vehicles can be shipped anywhere for resale, and continue to appear in the marketplace for many months following major floods.
Once any standing water has been removed, it’s time to start drying out the home. Your contractor will bring in different types of air movers (think of these like glorified fans) to help circulate airflow throughout the room. Don’t be surprised if they need to lift up a section of the carpet or position one of the air movers at certain sections of the walls to ensure air is getting to the most saturated parts of the room. If you have hardwood floors, they may use floor mats which help draw the water out of the floor. If needed, they might even remove the baseboards and drill holes into the drywall to help the walls dry faster. While some of these methods may sound extreme, they’re making every effort to dry the home without having to demolish and rebuild, which could add multiple weeks to the project timeline and become very costly.
“Last December we discovered a leak underneath our kitchen that caused extensive damage. We called WaterBear and they came out that day. The people who came to our house were always respectful, kind and efficient. They did exactly what they quoted us and did it in a timely manner. All of our questions and concerns were answered in a timely manner, also. They helped us through this very difficult situation. I hope we never have another problem like this, but if we did, I would call WaterBear.” – Anne M.
Unless you’re doing laundry, you probably don’t think twice about your washing machine. But if it breaks down, the results could be catastrophic. For example, if the supply hose is damaged or has a faulty connection to the wall or washing machine, more than 600 gallons of water could potentially spill out within an hour. That could lead to significant water damage, especially if your washing machine is located on the second floor of your home.
If left untreated, water can be a destructive force to any residential or commercial property. It can lead to mold growth, stains, and can jeopardize the integrity of the building. Our restoration specialists can carefully inspect your property to determine the extent of the damage and can create customized solutions for you. With our 24/7 emergency services, you can rest assured you have a trusted team ready to help you.