You might be busy watching movies or relaxing blissfully in your condo when suddenly you notice water dripping from your wall. The first thing you should do is look for the source of the leak. Water damage is both surprising and inconvenient. You might panic because of it. Some people in this situation try to alleviate the damage without finding the cause. This action typically tends to simply create a band-aid solution to the problem, and like all band-aid solutions, it might seem OK in the beginning but can create more lasting damage in the future. Stop with temporary short term solutions that can aggravate the water damage in your home. There are steps you can take to avoid this from happening.
Identify the source
Identifying the root cause of the problem can save you more time and energy, but unmindful actions can cause more damage. A typical result of ill-considered and not fully solving the water damage can cause problems ranging from but not limited to weakening of structural supports and ceilings; fires caused by water dripping through the ceiling; or water drenching the wall outlets. Puddles of water on the floor, over time, become high-risk electrocution areas in these situations. This means that it is really important to know the source of the problem. Oftentimes, the problem is from the unit above you.
Inform the neighbor and/or contact the building maintenance
Once you’ve carefully checked your pipes and water lines around your property and you’ve concluded that it is not from your unit, it is time to inform the neighbors upstairs. Informing them as fast as possible can prevent you from lasting water damage that may have been reduced if dealt with immediately. Some water damage can be handled by simply replacing dishwasher or washing machine pipes, but other water damage, like clogged toilets or sewer lines that are backed up, may require professional help from building maintenance.
Minimize property damage
You’ve informed the neighbor and, if necessary, the building maintenance. What’s next? Well, unfortunately, most water damage can’t be fixed immediately, so while it is still in the process of being fixed, it is of utmost importance to minimize the damage it is doing to and to your property. The measures to be considered are:
- Turn off breakers and remove plugged devices that may have been soaked in water to prevent being electrocuted or causing a fire on the property.
- Secure important documents and other belongings that may be vulnerable to water damage.
- Avoid leaving objects that can cause mold when soaked in water, like books, carpets, mattresses, and magazines, that later on may cause mildew.
Contact your public adjuster
Accidents like this are unpredictable, time-consuming, and sometimes very expensive. No one plans or looks forward to experiencing property damage, particularly water damage. Another thing to consider in this situation is your insurance policy. Insurance policies make sure you are insured. But oftentimes, in these situations, people can still take advantage of your misfortune. Seeking the help of people that can provide professional advice and can help you make the most of your insurance claim must be your top priority. Public adjusters can help you in this area. Public adjusters will help you understand and guide you through the complexities of the policies that, to a normal person, might seem very hard to interpret. They will safeguard your rights as a policyholder and make sure you get a fair value for your claim.
During these stressful times, it is very important for you to be calm, collected, and focused. From finding the source of the problem, dealing with the neighbor, accessing and handling the damage incurred by your property, these tips can help you alleviate the damage and respond properly to the situation.