What to do in case of water damage?

First and foremost, take care of yourself and your family and make sure everyone is safe. Once you’re ready, contact your insurance broker to report your claim. A claims expert will be assigned to assess the damage as soon as possible.

Once your claim has been filed and you are waiting for a claims adjuster to contact you, take steps to protect your property from further damage or loss:

Initial removal of water: It is strongly recommended to immediately extract excess water using specialized pumps and commercial drainage devices. The aim is to limit the damage to the minimum possible.

Pressure washing/cleaning: Residual organic matter in cracks and crevices of recoverable materials can be removed by pressure washing. Cover the solution with an extraction device immediately after application, to avoid the absorption of contaminants into other porous materials.

Application of disinfectant:
Treat the affected area with an antimicrobial biocide to reduce or eliminate human pathogens.

Dewatering process: When excess water is removed, the remaining water must convert from a liquid to a vapor, promoting its evaporation. Normally, this is done more efficiently with specialized air circulation equipment. This equipment is specially designed to provide a large volume of air on and under surfaces to speed up the drying process. Once moisture has evaporated into the air, it must be removed by commercial dehumidifiers to minimize secondary damage and possible health risks. The humidity level should be reduced as quickly as possible to 30-50%.

Here are some recommendations

  • Make a detailed list of everything and take several photos or film the damage

  • Don’t throw anything away at all. Store damaged items in a reasonably safe place so that the adjuster can see them upon arrival. If your flooring and subfloor are wet, it is recommended to remove them to facilitate the drying process. In extreme cases where it needs to be discarded, keep a 1 square foot sample of each for your adjuster

  • Clean as quickly as possible. Seek professional advice on how to clean up and take all reasonable steps to minimize the extent of the loss

  • Do not touch electrical systems or panels until you can make sure it is safe to do so, especially in wet or wet conditions

  • Move damaged objects to a dry, well-ventilated area

  • Have all appliances (including furnaces) that have been in contact with water checked by a qualified electrician, repairman or technician before using them

  • Disinfect all objects that come into contact with flood or sewage

  • Let the parts dry well before cleaning or repainting them

  • Use a rigid broom or brush to remove dirt from carpets and rugs. Then clean with a good carpet shampoo based on a disinfectant product

  • Remove the drawers from the furniture before the wood swells. Dry furniture slowly and do not expose it to direct heat or sunlight, to prevent it from deforming

  • Move upholstered furniture outdoors in the open air. Once dry, vacuum thoroughly and then use a good shampoo for upholstered furniture with disinfectant

  • Dry all books and papers slowly, away from direct heat or sunlight

  • Wash clothes several times, adding bleach or disinfectant to the wash cycle, if the fabric allows it.

Prevention measures and cleaning after water damage

The following steps can be taken to help prevent water damage or sewer backup in your home:

  • Keep sewer plugs on all basement sewer outlets (including floor drain, washer duct, sump hole, etc.) during thunderstorms

  • Install a sump pump and drain on your lawn or driveway

  • Have a 4-inch automatic check valve installed by a professional. It should stay open most of the time

  • Disconnect all downspouts from your basement sewer system and close disconnected hydrants

  • Extend all rainwater descents away from the foundation of your home

  • Make sure your gutters and downspouts are not clogged with debris

  • Make sure that the leveling of your land is done in such a way that the water does not cause problems on your neighbors’ property

  • Install well-drained sighs and window coverings

  • Reduce water use in your home during heavy rains

  • Have cracks in the walls, foundations and floors of your basement repaired by professionals

  • Fill in any empty spaces in your basement walls, including around windows, doors, and entry points for pipes and cables

  • Keep storm sewer grilles free of debris

  • Items stored in your basement should not rest directly on the floor, waterproof plastic containers would help protect your items from water damage

  • Do not store irreplaceable or valuable items in your basement

Devices that can prevent water from entering your home

Sump pumps

Another preventative measure you can consider is a sump pump, which is an effective way to pump water from the foundation drain away from your home. There are many types of sump pumps on the market. So, buy one that fits your needs.

Automatic check valves

A device designed to prevent wastewater from flowing back into your basement.

Sealing systems

A device that automatically seals your sanitary and storm sewers.

Water damage worsens over time. The more immediate the intervention and the faster the removal and cleaning of water damage begins, the less the final damage and the faster the return to normal. Costly problems can occur within 72 hours if not treated properly. Only certified technicians can take care of the restoration of water damage, since returning your property to balance is a cutting-edge science that requires time, equipment and judicious follow-up, all supported by state-of-the-art documentation. Organic materials are used from the outset to stabilize the environment and minimize any impact on the occupants of your home. Therefore, contact someone with the expertise and experience to proceed with the initial, continuous and final stabilization of the humidity level of your property and the mold contained in the materials that compose it. It is important to do a good cleaning after water damage, in order to create mold in your home.