In the unfortunate event that your home or business has suffered from a flood, it is important to choose the right company to properly restore your property. Below are some tips and things to consider when selecting a flood repair company.
- If you have insurance that covers flood damage, make sure that a company absolutely accepts your insurance provider. Flood repair can be expensive, and you don’t want to be stuck footing the entire bill over a miscommunication about insurance issues.
- Compare prices with services provided. A particular company may say they charge less, but they may also provide less. It is important to make sure you are getting your money’s worth. Even if you have insurance, you may have to pay part of the costs yourself, and you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best possible service either way.
- Do they have a long, solid history in the business? Experience does count for something, and can certainly ensure fewer mistakes. It is all right to ask for years in the business and previous customer references.
- Is their work guaranteed? Some companies guarantee their work, while others do not. A guarantee offers peace of mind, in the event that you have problems with your homes flood repairs down the road. However, keep in mind that just because a company offers a guarantee doesn’t mean they are the best choice. It is important to consider not only the guarantee, but the company’s overall reputation as well.
- How long will they take, and how soon can they start? A company may have the reputation for being the best, but that’s little help to you if they can’t get started within a reasonable time period. You need to consider all the factors, and the longest you are willing to wait before the job is completed. It’s always worth asking if the company will guarantee completion by a certain date. If you have a time line in writing, the company may be more motivated to get the job done sooner.
How To Prevent Home Floods & Leaks
1. Have Plumbing Inspected: If you are not able to do this yourself, hire a trusted professional to inspect your home. Have the professional test for leaks or potential problem areas. Ask them to replace any worn or broken parts and tighten loose connections. Inspect washing machine hoses for bulges, cracks or wetness. Have the hoses replaced every few years or sooner if needed. Inspect your water heater for any signs of rust or wetness on the floor.
2. Water Alarms: This is an inexpensive and effective way to prevent your home from being damaged by floods and leaks. Alarms can be placed in areas where your home is most vulnerable to leaks or flooding such as sink plumbing, toilettes, water heaters, washing machine, dishwasher, basements, and attics. In the event of a leak, the alarm will give you an early warning. Leaks that are caught early enough are unlikely to cause serious damage.
3. Home Maintenance: The proper care of your home can help prevent leaks and floods. Here are some preventative guidelines, and suggestions to keep your home safe from water damage.
- Roofing- Make sure there are no loose shingles or cracks in your roofing. Inspect chimneys carefully, as they are a common leak hazard. Keep all gutters free of debris and make sure that the downspouts are draining properly. Trim back any tree branches that may be hanging over your house. If anything is damaged or deteriorated, repair promptly.
- Home Exterior: To prevent water damage from rainwater and snowmelt, make sure the exterior walls of your home are properly maintained. In particular, examine locations where piping or wiring extends through the outside walls. Check for any cracks or areas where water could potentially leak in. Prevent water from leaking into your home by sealing off any potential point of entry.
- Vents: Make sure that all of your vents, including the clothes dryer, gable vents, and exhaust vents, have hoods, empty to the outside, work properly, have boots and are properly sealed.
- Attics: Check for air leaks and make sure there is enough insulation to keep house heat from escaping. Air leaks and inadequate insulation can result in ice build up. Rain or melting snow can get under the shingles and into the attic or house when ice dams collect around the edge of the roof. Check your attic ceiling for water stains.
- Flashing: Typically a thin metal strip around doors, windows, thresholds, chimneys, and roofs designed to prevent water leaking in between spaces where building surfaces meet.
- Basements: To prevent basement flooding, make sure that windows and doors have flood shields. Regularly inspect sump pumps to ensure proper function. A battery backup system will keep the sump pump operating in case of power outage. Discharge should be as far away from the house as possible.
4. Winterization: Make sure to turn off water sources that could freeze in the winter or insulate them, such as lawn sprinkling systems. This will prevent pipes from cracking. If your heater goes out during cold weather, make sure to drain water out of pipes.
5. Have A Plan: If a leak or flood does occur, be prepared. You can minimize damage by acting quickly. Locate the source of the water as soon as possible. Turn off, seal or correct the problem. If water is leaking into your home from a burst pipe or damaged appliance, immediately shut off the water supply. Usually this is found outside of the house or at the meter. Make sure you know where your water shut-off is located. If there is no danger of injury, immediately remove as much of the water and moist material as possible. Water damage left unattended can potentially results in structural damage or mold growth. If needed, consult with a licensed building professional, who can help you determine the extent of the repairs necessary. In the event that the flooding is serious, or the result of a natural disaster, make sure that you have an evacuation plan. If you live in a high-risk area, make sure you also know your local community evacuation plan.