Leaky pipes or roof, problems with the boiler, overflowing bathtub, etc. Many things can cause water damage, both in your home and those of your neighbours. You can sustain material damages to your furniture and to the property. But what specifically should you do in case of water damage in your home?
Keep calm and act fast
When water damage occurs, it’s a real panic! But when faced with flooding, it’s essential to keep your cool and react quickly.
In practice, you should immediately:
- Remove the source of the flooding to prevent it from continuing. Often, this means cutting off the water to the installation that’s leaking, or even cutting of the general water supply to your house. If the leak is coming from your neighbours, alert them immediately or contact your building’s caretaker.
- Cut the power if your house is totally flooded. There’s no need to risk electrocution or a general short circuit!
- Warn your neighbours if you’re the source of the disaster and if it risks spreading to their lodgings. If necessary, you should fill out an “accident report for water damage” with them.
- Contact your landlord if you’re a renter, since you may not have to pay for the repair costs.
Contact your insurance provider
After the emergency operations come the administrative procedures. You must therefore contact your home insurer as soon as possible, so an expert can come and see the damages. Make sure you don’t clean up the traces of the disaster before they come! You can only make permanent repairs once the expert has taken note of the disaster. Otherwise, your claim will be inadmissible.
Specifically, you have 5 days to report the disaster to your insurance provider. You’ll have to describe the water damage precisely (place, date, nature, origin, details, etc.). Ideally, take photos or videos of the incident to supplement the file.
Finally, be aware that if your home insurance policy doesn’t cover your disaster, you’ll have to pay for all the emergency and restoration work yourself.
Perform the emergency work
Once the source of the flood has been identified and stopped and everyone involved has been informed, you can consider doing emergency work. This is the work that should be carried out immediately to limit damages and prevent the situation from getting worse. You’ll be able to make real repairs as soon as your insurance provider has assessed your disaster.
First, contact a plumber for an emergency response. Then, identify the objects that the water damage has rendered unrecoverable. Photograph them and describe them so you can file a claim with your insurance provider.
Then, in case of water damage, leaking, or flooding, it’s of the utmost importance that you immediately dry your home. The goal: prevent mold from growing and creating health problems. Drying your home therefore involves letting your walls dry as much as necessary to get rid of any trace of moisture. To do that, you can:
- opt for natural drying: be patient!
- dehumidify the wall by heating it (but be careful of the risks of cracks…)
- use a professional dehumidifier or a drying centre: call a professional.
You should obviously hold on to all the necessary supporting documents (invoices for the work performed, accident reports, detailed descriptions of the losses, etc.) to present to your insurance provider.
In case of water damage, you should therefore keep calm and act as soon as possible. Contact the right people and carry out emergency work to avoid aggravating the disaster.
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