Water damage during the summer months are commonly the result of torrential rains, damaged rooftops, gutter overflows, or faulty air conditioning units. Water and storm damage to residential or commercial properties average $2,665, but can exceed $13,000 depending on the true extent of the damage, according to HomeAdvisor.com.
Also, property owners must consider the additional, long-term problems that flooding can cause, including mold, mildew, and wood rot from clean sources of water and health or quality of life issues when unclean water enters the home’s drywall, carpeting, and wood flooring. Continue reading to discover ways you can prevent summer water damage in Minneapolis.
Keep Gutters Clear of Debris
Gutters can be the cause of interior water damage during heavy summer rains when leaves, sticks, dirt, and grime are allowed to build up. Water overflowing from gutters can enter a home by seeping beneath the siding or ponding at the home’s foundation. If you notice the landscape around your home is eroding, the basement walls are wet after a heavy rain, or the fascia boards on your eaves are starting to rot, you should have your roofing system, gutters, and downspouts inspected, cleaned, and repaired.
Fix Leaky Bathroom Fixtures
Your bathroom or kitchen plumbing is often a source of water damage either by accidental events or hidden pipes that are leaking or broken fixtures. The most damage occurs over time, where a slow leak behind a wall can weaken flooring members. When this occurs, homeowners may require a major bathroom restoration to shore up structural elements. A large increase in your monthly water bill and these other signs may point to leaking fixtures in the kitchen or bathroom:
- An earthy or musty smell in the bathroom
- Signs of mold around windows and outside tub
- Bathroom flooring seems weak or bouncy
- Discoloration on ceiling below the bathroom
Inspect AC Units for Standing Water
If the AC unit is leaking water from drain lines or the condensate pump, your home can suffer water damage, mold and mildew growth and even the possibility of electrical wires becoming wet and causing a short circuit. If you AC unit shows signs of leaking above and beyond the normal condensation you would expect to see, it is important to stop the leak before water damage occurs. Check for a blockage in the drain line and make sure the AC unit is level so that excess water does not flow into the home. Summer is the perfect time to have your AC unit inspected and tuned up.
Foundation or Grade Problems
Look for the signs of a bad grade on your property which would cause rain water to flow towards the home and penetrate the structural foundation. Noticing these early warning signs can save your home from major water damage after heavy rains:
- basement wall cracks
- sagging floors
- wet crawl space
- high indoor humidity
- basement smells musty
- doors that stick
- pooling water near home
Broken Windows or Frames
A more obvious way to prevent summer water damage is to have broken windows replaced or frames repaired. The combination of a faulty frame and rain that is driven by the winds can turn a small amount of water infiltration into a more serious problem. Water forced through window and frame cracks can discolor wall paint, destroy wall papering, and cause floor damage and wet carpet. Any moisture that is hidden has the potential to damage the home’s framework and subflooring.
Summer is the perfect time for a home inspection for hidden water damages and sources of water infiltration. Contact Satin Touch to discuss our full service offerings for water damage and restoration in Minneapolis homes and businesses.
If your home has suffered water damage, you might be worried about how to pay for repairs. Many people rely on their insurance company to pay for repairs. While making an insurance claim can be difficult, there are several things you can do to make it easier. Here are several steps to take when filing an insurance claim for water damage to your property.
Document all damage to your property
The most important thing you can do when suffering water damage is to document what’s broken as soon as you can. This type of documentation can be difficult and time consuming, but it’s necessary for reimbursement.
It’s important to be as detailed as possible. This means documenting the damage as much as you can. You should take photos and video of all the damage along with writing down any notes. Take more photos and notes than you think is necessary. Take photos before any repairs are started and save samples of destroyed materials.
Get an estimate for repairs. This provides more information that your insurance company can use when evaluating your claim. Also, save all written estimates, receipts for all payments made, and any other documents you think might be relevant to your claim.
Also, make sure you check what documentation is done by your restoration company. They may take photos or do testing as part of their repair services. Their documentation may save you time or provide you with additional evidence you can present to your insurance company.
Document all damage to personal property
In addition to documenting damages to your property, you need to document all damaged personal items. Make an itemized list of all damaged items. Record any make, model, and serial numbers. Figure out the cost to replace the item along with the actual cash value of the item. Take photos of all items and write a description of the damage to each item.
Start the claims process
You should start the claims process as soon as possible. Before you begin, check to see what your insurance covers. Your insurance may cover damage from burst pipes, but not flood damage. Before you call, you should know what part of your insurance policy you can use to claim reimbursement.
Have your policy number ready and be ready to answer any questions. Also, have a pen and paper nearby to take any notes and document the insurance company’s response.
During your first call, find out the next steps from your insurance company. Often times, the insurance company will describe the claims process and tell you what further responsibilities you have. Make sure to ask any questions you have at this time.
You should get information on who will be handling your claim. You may get a name right away, or they may take a day or two to assign someone to handle it. Before you hang up, make sure you know who to contact if anything else comes up.
Follow up on the claim
Once you have filed a claim, make sure to follow up with the insurance company. If they request more information, make sure to provide it as soon as possible. If the company sends an adjuster to inspect the damage, make sure to be present during the inspection. Being available for the inspection allows you to point out all the damage and answer any questions.
You will get an initial estimate from the insurance company. This estimate may change during the process. If your claim has not been fully settled within 45 days, make sure to ask a written explanation why it is still ongoing.
If your claim is rejected, your insurance company is required to give you the reason in writing. If you are not satisfied with the insurance company’s decision, you may need to file an appeal.
Contact us if you need help repairing water damage
Dealing with water damage is a difficult process for everyone. If your home has suffered water damage, contact us today. We can help get your house back to normal while guiding you through the process.