Attempt to identify the source of the water.
If it’s from a fresh water supply line to your sinks, toilets, laundry machines or the like, attempt to shut the water off at the source by turning the valve handle clockwise until it stops. If you can’t easily identify the source or locate the shut-off, turn the water off to the whole house. Every home is s little different, but most commonly there is a shut-off near the outside hose bib closest to the street. Otherwise, there should be a shut-off at the street in a utility box in the ground close to the road. You will need a meter curb key (T-handle) or other wrench to turn off the water to your home.
Pick up items off the floor that may be ruined by standing in water. This means shoes, clothing, anything in cardboard boxes like photos, books, etc. Remember to check closet floors too.
Day or night, call Restoration 1 of Tampa Bay to help you mitigate the water damage. Call 813-605-1624 now! We’ll do your dry out and invoice your insurance company direct. It does not matter how much of the clean up you do yourself, your out of pocket expense is limited by your deductible, so let them pay us to do the work. No deductible required for mitigation work. It will be applied when the carrier estimates the repair of damaged building materials and contents.
If you have a “sudden and accidental” water loss, you have good cause to file a claim with your insurance carrier, but WAIT!
Before you call the 800 number on your policy, know this … once you call them to report the loss you have filed a claim, regardless if you follow through and collect money for repairs or not. You cannot “un-ring” that bell. With that in mind, here is a suggestion.
1. Contact Restoration 1 of Tampa Bay and let us provide you a free evaluation.
2. Get a copy of your homeowner’s policy and find the Declaration Page. This page is a monetary summary of your coverages, including the value of your deductible.
3. Ask yourself, “will the cost of repairs meet or exceed your deductible?” If it’s less, or even close, it’s probably not worth filing a claim. In other words, if the total cost of dry out and repairs is $2750 and your deductible is $2500, then it’s probably not worth having a claim on your property insurance “record” to net $250. Save that call for when you really need it!
While we’re talking about property insurance, let’s clarify a few misconceptions.
1. “My house flooded when my pipe broke, but I don’t have flood insurance, so I’m not covered.”
The truth is that Flood Insurance covers your property from rising waters coming from outside your home, not inside. Flood insurance is backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and their legal definition states: A flood is a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow.
2. “I had a pipe break and my carpet is wet, but I can just use a shop vacuum to suck up the water and get a fan to dry it out.”
Unless you have ceramic or porcelain tile on your floor, you need more than a shop vacuum to get the water up. When water has been standing on your floor, it isn’t just on the surface, it’s now underneath the pad (for carpet) or underlayment (for floating/laminate) of your flooring. Modern stain resistant pad, floating laminate, or even the new “water-proof” laminate can trap water underneath and prevent it from drying out in a reasonable amount of time. If you don’t take the appropriate steps, you should start reading the another section of this website called “Mold Damage”, because that’s your future.
3. “It’s Friday night and my carrier can’t assign an adjuster until Monday, so I’ll just wait until I hear from him before I call a restoration company.”
See number (2) above. Also, know that if water was standing against your baseboards, it’s now behind your baseboards, and if it’s behind your baseboards, it’s in your drywall. Porous and semi-porous building materials soak up and “wick” moisture over time. Every minute that goes by the water is spreading and traveling further and further through your home. Your carrier wants you to act as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. That’s one reason they don’t apply your deductible to emergency services, and the same reason we don’t collect the deductible when working with most insurance carriers. They’ll apply the deductible to the repair or rebuild portion of your claim.