When your home has been flooded, the damage can be extensive and disastrous. Residential flooding has many causes including a plumbing problem, a sewer backup, a water main break, storm damage, or environmental flooding. If the water damage in your home is severe, you will need to call a professional water damage cleanup service. Here are some steps you can take before and during professional water damage cleanup service:
- Call Your Home Insurance Company - Have your home insurance policy in hand and immediately report the flood damage to your home insurance company. Ask your insurance agent what is covered and not covered in your home insurance policy in case of a flood. Most standard home insurance policies cover structural damage to your home and do not cover flood damage to home contents. Ask your insurance agent when an insurance adjuster will make an inspection of your home and how long it will take to process your claim. Also, ask your home insurance company for an inspection by a professional electrician to make sure that any electrical damage will be repaired and your residence will be safe to live in.
- Prepare for the Insurance Adjuster's Inspection - Document all damage on your residential property including damage to your home, garage, roofs, patio, storage shed, and in-ground swimming pool. Write a detailed list of all water damage including structural damage and damage to contents. Take photographs of all water damage. Do not remove any damaged items from your home, garage, or other structures, until after the insurance adjuster has inspected your residential property. With a permanent marker, indicate the height of the water damage on the walls of each flooded area.
- Document Alternative Living Expenses - If you cannot stay in your home because water damage, you must find reasonable alternative living quarters. Standard home insurance policies normally cover alternative living expenses if your home was flooded by an insured disaster. Inform your insurance company of this situation and check into a local hotel or motel. Save all receipts incurred during the time that you cannot live in your home so that you can submit them when you file a claim for reimbursement from your home insurance company. Also, make copies of all of your receipts to give to your water damage cleanup service company, and keep an additional copy for your own records.
- Work With The Water Cleanup Service Company - When the water cleanup service company adjuster arrives to inspect your property, give him or her a copy of your detailed list of damages along with all damage photographs, as well as a copy of your receipts for alternative living expenses. Inform them of all the work that should be done to repair and restore your property to pre-flood conditions. The water cleanup service company will give you a written estimate of repairs, costs, and time, to restore your property. Compare these estimates with your list of damages and repairs to make sure that your insurance company, your water cleanup service company, and you, are in agreement with what must be done and how much it will cost to restore your property.
Flood damage to your home is always a difficult situation. After your home insurance claim has been settled and all repair work is being completed, take the time to reevaluate your home insurance coverage. Discuss your coverage with your home insurance company agent and adjust your home insurance policy as needed. With proper preparation, documentation, and home insurance policy changes, you can minimize the anxiety and stress of another disaster should one happen in the future.
For help with water damage restoration, contact a service like Arkansas Restoration Services Inc.