Water damage is something that no homeowner should ever have to worry about. It is one of those things that we know can happen, but we really never expect to have to worry about it. Unfortunately, for those who do experience water damage, it can be a bigger headache than expected.
Slow leaks over time can cause way more damage than you would expect. These leaks are often not enough water at once to show through drywall. So behind your wall you have moisture build up which can slowly spread to a larger and larger area. This moisture can then lead to mold growth along the path of water. It does not take a long time for mold to start growing, so when the leak has been slow over time, that is lots of opportunity for mold growth. It is tough to prevent water damage with a slow leak.
Water line rupture is another opportunity for water to enter your home. There are many reasons a water line can rupture. Deterioration due to the age of the pipe, poly B pipe, accidental puncture or a plumbing fixture failure. In any of these situations it is important to know where your main shutoff is for the water to your home. Surprisingly it is not required that each plumbing fixture (toilet or sink) have it’s own water shutoff. It is definitely best practice, but most home builders will not put in those water shutoffs. In water situations like these ones, you can have significant water levels to clean up and dry out within your home.
What should I do next?
Calling your insurance company is important. You will need to get a restoration company in right away to get the water out of your home and get your home dried out. When you talk to your insurance company, ask what your options are. Do you get to choose any contractor of your liking? Can you take a payout and hire your own contractor? Will they pay to have you live somewhere else while the renovation is going on? What standard of work will the contractor the insurance company provides be held to?
Hiring a General Contractor can help in many ways.
If you do take the payout from the insurance company you are able to hire the professional of your choice. By hiring a general contractor we are able to coordinate all aspects of the renovation. This tends to speed up the renovation process. In most situations, General Contractors will also finish your renovation to a higher standard than the insurance provided contractor. In many cases the one provided by your insurance company will just be responsible for repairing the damage, but not necessarily to the standard of your liking.
You might not always be able to prevent water damage but it is good practice to take a look at your water lines frequently. If you notice a leak or signs that water has been present, it is best to deal with it right away before it becomes a bigger problem!