Recent Water Damage Posts

How to Make a Water Damage Claim

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to Make a Water Damage Claim Call your insurance representative in Mercer Island,WA and discuss the incident in detail

Do you ever pay your monthly insurance premium and cringe at the amount of money you spend? You’re not the only Mercer Island,WA, homeowner to stress out about these costs. On the other hand, with proper coverage, you can spare yourself grief and much more financial stress in the event of bursting pipes or other issues that leads to flooding at home. If water has damaged something in your house, you must understand the claims process so you can get the help you need.

Key Points to Know

You don’t want to have to make a claim for water damage, but you’re thankful you have that protection if something does go wrong. To alleviate your stress during this already anxious time, considering the following:

  • Know the extent of your coverage. What does your policy cover?
  • Document the type and extent of the damage.
  • Contact the insurance company as soon as possible.

Get Familiar With Your Policy

You have homeowner’s insurance for a situation just like this, so put it to good use. However, policies can differ, so it’s crucial you know what yours will cover and not cover. Find out whether your policy will cover the cost to fix a broken pipe and other problems that have occurred due to deterioration over time. These are often your own responsibility. However, more disastrous situations such as sewer backups or storm-related problems are usually covered.

Keep Records

Whether bursting pipes cause flooding in your home or whether the problems come from Mother Nature, you should take photos of all the affected areas and what caused the water damage. Also, describe in writing how the flooding occurred and what it damaged.

Get in Touch With the Insurance

Call your insurance representative and discuss the incident in detail. At this point, you can formally file a claim and ask any questions. This is also the ideal time to contact a disaster cleanup company.

Not sure whether your insurance will bursting pipes in your house? Follow these steps to make sure you properly file a claim.

Insurance Claims and Rate Hikes: Should You File?

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Insurance Claims and Rate Hikes: Should You File? Drying a flooded home in Seattle, Wa

When something happens on your property, you likely wonder whether or not it is worth filing an insurance claim. The general understanding is that filing creates a rate hike, and sometimes that hike may price you out of your policy. However, is every claim created equal, and are there ever times that you shouldn’t file?

Determine Responsibility

While a rate hike is likely part of any claims process, a lot of weight is put on the idea of responsibility. For example, if something happens that is entirely out of your control, then the hikes associated with the claim may be minimal. On the other hand, if it is proven that you were negligent, then rate increases will likely be severe because they are associated with the risk you present to your insurer.

Type of Claim

Beyond responsibility, the effect on rates is dependent on the type of insurance claim. For example, there are varying degrees of water damage. A home flood caused by sustained pipe damage is going to cause a higher increase than a sudden burst pipe.

The Cost of Filing

It is important that you consider the cost of filing a claim. Most claims can result in a 20 to 40 percent increase and, depending on your insurer, may stay in effect for two to four years. Also, if the claim is considered high risk, your insurer may drop your coverage, requiring you to acquire high-risk policies.

Should You File

Whether or not you file is entirely up to you. If the damage is your responsibility, meaning you are at fault, then filing could result in the loss of coverage. Therefore, it may be better to resolve the issue on your own by hiring an emergency restoration company in the Seattle,WA, area. However, if the incident is an unforeseen event, then a claim is possibly your best option.

The insurance claim process often causes anxiety because homeowners are concerned with the effect it will have on their policy. However, the crucial thing to understand is that your insurance is there to protect you from unforeseen expenses and disasters, so use it when you need it.

Ruined to Rescued: Three Steps To Save a Wet Carpet

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ruined to Rescued: Three Steps To Save a Wet Carpet Wet carpet can be saved. Learn how!

If you’ve ever had a pipe break in your home, you know that the aftermath can be as costly as it is messy. Before you get out your credit cards, you should know in most cases it’s possible to rescue a waterlogged carpet!

As long as the source of your flood is clean, following a few simple steps can save you a lot of money.

Stem the Flow

The first step to rescuing your rugs after a pipe break is to make sure the water has stopped flowing as soon as possible. The less water that comes in contact with your floor, the easier your floor will be to save. Locate the source of the leak and turn off the water as soon as you can.

Start Blotting

Once you’ve stopped the flow of the water, it’s time to start drying your floors. Gather as many towels as you can find and start blotting! Lay the dry towels over the wet area and apply pressure to soak up as much water as you can. Once the towel is saturated, replace it with a dry one and keep going. If your carpet is white or light in color, just be careful not to use brightly colored towels that may bleed dye and cause staining.

Crank the Air

While you are blotting, get dry air flowing through the room. If it’s not humid outside, open doors and windows to create a cross breeze through the room. You can also crank up your air conditioner or turn on your central heating system. If you have a dehumidifier in your home, using it will also help.

Taking these three easy steps can put you and your rugs well on the way to restoration. In the event of a serious flood, you may want to contact an expert remediation specialist in Seattle, Washington who can help prevent odors or mold. When you have a pipe break, the key is to move quickly to avoid lasting damage to your carpets and floors.

The 4 Don’ts of Water Damage

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The 4 Don’ts of Water Damage Water damage is caused by broken pipes

List of Don’ts of Water Damage

A broken pipe creates many concerns for homeowners, and while it is instinctual to protect your belongings, that instinct can lead to injury or further damage. The list of don’ts below may help you minimize health risks while mitigating concerns over your belongings.

1. Do Not Use Electronics

While most people are preoccupied with the immediate risks to property, they may ignore the dangers of submerged outlets and water-soaked wiring. Plugging in or trying to use electrical appliances and tools may come with the threat of shock and electrocution. If you are uncertain of the safety of your home, you can seek help from a disaster specialist in the Seattle,WA, area who can assess your property for any potential hazards.

2. Do Not Ignore Damp Fabrics

While a broken pipe can be overwhelming, you shouldn’t let it distract you from other threats to your property. Ignoring damp fabrics, for instance, can lead to mold growth, and it may also cause irreversible damage to hardwood floors and other surfaces. It is essential to remove wet materials and hang them somewhere to dry.

3. Do Not Leave Wet Dyed Items on Floors

Items like books and magazines may also stain and distress floors, countertops and furniture. Their colorful bindings and pictures can bleed deep into porous surfaces if left to soak and dry on their own. Also, as paper is a porous substance, it can be a source of mold and mildew growth.

4. Do Not Handle Items without Protection

The buildup of water in home can also lead to contamination, depending on the origin of the pipes. For instance, flooding from sewer lines can fill a house with black water, which is water conducive to bacteria growth. Unless you know the water classification, assume that water is contaminated and that you must wear protective clothing to handle any affected items.

A broken pipe presents many potential hazards for homeowners, and while it is easy to know what you should do, like removing excess water, it is less obvious what you should avoid. The above list of don’ts may help you avoid risks while mitigating your home repair.

Flooded Basement

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

Harold and Jenny decided to go on vacation for a couple weeks. They did everything they thought they were supposed to: lock the doors, have someone watch their cats and water their plants, and make sure their heat was set to low so they weren’t charged for using it while they weren’t in town. However, one day the boy who was watching their cats and watering their plants noticed a small puddle of water in the basement. Of course, he thought nothing of it. He contacted Harold and Jenny, told them about the water, and went on his way. Fast forward to five days later the couple returned. Harold went to the basement to check out the “small” puddle of water. Turns out a pipe had cracked while they were on vacation, and now they were dealing with a flooded basement. That small puddle of water Jimmy had mentioned had turned into a small lake in the basement.

Some may say this situation is exaggerated, but this happens more often than people think. As the weather gets colder and many start taking vacations in warmer climates, the plumbing is often the first aspect of a house to suffer. When pipes aren’t run regularly, the small amounts of water left over in the pipes will collect in areas of the lines. If the temperature gets low enough, that water can freeze, which will cause the pipes to shrink and crack.

Now, some may think: “Well, what am I supposed to do when that happens?” There are a few answers:

  • Turn off the water
    • This will stop the immediate problem of leaking water.
  • Call a plumber
    • Get that leak fixed so it doesn’t become a future problem
  • Call SERVPRO

This is probably the last thing someone wants to think about right after coming back from a relaxing vacation, so there are also a few steps to take prior to leaving that can save a call to a plumber:

  • Keep the heat above 55 degrees in the house
    • This is something a lot of apartment complexes recommend for people who leave during winter breaks (usually college students), but this also applies to homeowners. This will reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing.
  • Let the kitchen sink drip
    • If it’s an older home or older plumbing this will keep water from standing in one place
  • Make sure that parts of the home that may not be as well insulated (garage, basement, attic, etc) are well-heated.
    • Space heaters are a simple way to heat large rooms.
    • Note: This will probably increase your heating bill, but that is drop in the bucket compared to the price of a plumber and mitigation team. Not only will you be paying for the repairs, mitigation, and dry-out, but your family may also be displaced for a while, depending on the amount of damage.
    • Especially with colder nights coming, pipes in the garage, basement, or attic are sometimes the first to freeze up.

Remember that mold spores can start growing into colonies about 72 hours: waiting to call if there is water damage can only make the problem worse!

If you do have water damage in your home, please call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle for a cost-free estimate at 425-225-2227 today! We can have a team out to your home to assess and mitigate the problem immediately.