The beauty of Spring is often accompanied by a series of rain and showers, and if you’re not careful those showers can cause some serious damage. Whether it’s for your home or business, preparation against flooding should be top of mind over the next few months. If you don’t have a prevention or emergency plan in place, here are some key details to keep in mind when April Showers Bring Water Damage.
The Effects of Water Damage
While the water might seem harmless, there are a lot of risks that come with excessive flooding or rain. Depending on the severity of the situation, the side effects could include anything from structural and electrical damage to viruses and disease from standing water or defunct drainage. The two keys to mitigating your risk for these issues are simple: prevention and immediate action. As a home or business owner, you should develop two separate plans: one for what you can do to avoid water damage, and a second to follow in the unfortunate event that water damage has already occurred.
Prevention: Indoor Strategies
While it may seem that the biggest threats come from outside a physical building, basement flooding is one of the leading causes of water damage that experts regularly see. If you have a basement space and reside in a rainy area, consider the following:
- Basement pump: Install a sump pump in case of power failure.
- Water alarm: Install a water alarm in your basement to notify you immediately if water levels have begun to rise.
- Storage planning: Manage your downstairs storage in a way that keeps all electronics or valuables away from the floor, to avoid the risk of losing both important documents or potential electrocution.
It’s also important that you regularly monitor your water tank and air conditioning. While they might not act up as a result of the rain, they’re still susceptible to causing significant water damage if malfunctioning.
Prevention: Outdoor Strategies
As part of your spring cleaning routine, add some outdoor tasks to your list as you’d be surprised what small efforts can make all the difference in prevention. For starters, consider the following:
- Debris removal: Clean out all the spaces where water may either collect or flow. This can include window wells, rain gutters or even some furniture.
- Home foundation cracks: Evaluate your foundation for cracks where water could get through. If you’re not sure where to look, consider reaching out to a professional for an extra opinion.
- Roof repairs: Make sure your roof is in top condition to prevent drips into your home. Often, basic roof repairs can be made with a few new shingles. Experts recommend re-doing the roof in its entirety every 12 – 15 years.
- Exterior wall support: Ensure all walls are completely coated in paint and sealed to ensure water can’t leak through.
- Landscape management: Plan and organize your lawn in a way that limits potential puddles or rain collection. Level out areas that may point water directly toward your home or business.
- Drain cleaning and maintenance: Thoroughly clean out any and all drains where water may flow. Serious damage can be caused if the water begins to back-up over time.
If you’re only able to dedicate a little bit of time to your outdoor management, focus on the basics: clear out debris and your drains. Even these simple steps can help you prevent a larger issue during the rainy season.
Immediate Action: The Water Damage Restoration Process
If you notice that there’s been flooding or water damage in your home, it’s important to act quickly. More often than not, you’ll need to call the support of a professional to help you get the situation under control. Make sure you know ahead of time who you are going to call and how long it typically takes them to arrive on-call.
While you wait for support, you may be tempted to try and remove the water yourself: in some situations, this is totally fine. However, be sure to consult with a professional before getting started as there may be unexpected hazards that could ultimately cause you harm. This could include anything from loose electrical wire to contaminated water.
For full-service restoration, look for organizations offering plans that cover everything from assessment to dehumidification. For the experts at SERVPRO, that process often looks like the following:
- Step 1: Emergency Contact
- Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment
- Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction
- Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification
- Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing
- Step 6: Restoration
Insurance Options for Additional Protection
Finally, to protect yourself against the costs that this process may incur, remember to invest in the appropriate insurance. For basic coverage against sudden or accidental damage to your home, your standard homeowners insurance will likely cover most issues. However, depending on your location, you may also want to consider Water Backup Damage or Flood Insurance as well. It’s best to speak to a licensed agent who can help you determine the best course of action for your property – whether that is your home or workplace.
Whatever you choose to do, remember to create a plan that covers the basics: prevention and immediate action. Instead of stressing about water damage this spring, you’ll be able to enjoy the showers and flowers it brings!