Hurricane season begins June 1st and brings with it the threat of floods and water damage in the Houston area. As we know from our recent experience with Hurricane Ike, water damage can occur from water entering structures breached by wind damage and fallen trees, or by rising flood waters from the torrential rains associated with the storm. And if that weren’t scary enough, on average there are over 1,000 water damage incidents a month in a metro area the size of Houston from other causes, such as broken water pipes, malfunctioning appliances and water heaters, and sewage backups.
While you can’t prevent must incidents of water damage, you can prepare for it and help to limit the damage once it does happen.
1. Prepare by taking 30 minutes to review your insurance policy to make sure you understand your coverage, and don’t hesitate to call your agent if you’re not sure. You don’t want to make the costly mistake of thinking you are covered for something only to find out that you’re not, when you actually need it. One thing to consider is do you have Flood Insurance which covers you for damage from rising water, but which is not part of a typical property policy. If you don’t have flood insurance and it can’t be distinguished whether the damage to your property was caused by wind (which is covered in most policies) or rising water, insurance companies have been arguing that they can deny coverage if they can show that the water caused the loss, even if wind damage had also occurred. You don’t want to be caught in the middle of litigation battles when you are trying to recover from a catastrophic loss.
2. Limit the damage by turning off the electrical breakers to any areas that got wet before entering those areas or touching anything electrical. Move or place styrofoam blocks under items on the floor in wet areas or areas the water is still moving towards. You can purchase styrofoam blocks at janitorial supply houses or on line. They are very cheap and can prevent a lot of damage.
3. Don’t wait. Most insurance policies require that the policy holder take actions to mitigate further damage. Experts agree that the first hours are critical in preventing the growth of mold and other microbes that can lead to an unhealthy environment and the need for for more extesive structural repairs. Call a professional water damage restoration company to remove the water and begin the drying The proper dehumidification equipment will dry the structure and contents and prevent secondary damage by eliminating the moisture in the air caused by the evaporating water.
DryMore is a A+ BBB rated water damage restoration and fire damage restoration company in Houston, TX. DryMore provides emergency services 24/7 and answers their own phones day or night to respond to customers needs immediately. For providing customers with immediate response and taking care of them through a difficult time, the BBB has named DryMore a 2010 winner of their Awards for Excellence.