Flood Water Damage
Water damage can be quite deceptive at times and often undetectable without the proper equipment and knowledge. On the other hand, some water loss situations can cause damage abruptly without time to react. Floods are a common denominator of costly water damage in homes and can be an utter devastation for property owners. Floods have the power to damage the structural integrity of a home, personal property, and cause financial disorder. Whether the flood damage is caused by heavy rain, monsoons, or defective sump pumps, beginning the water restoration process immediately is extremely important.
Categories of Water
Water damage is separated into three categories which determine the severity of the damage and what measures need to be taken to restore the property to pre-loss conditions.
Category 1: referred to as “Clean Water”, which is uncontaminated and does not pose a threat to humans or animals. Category 1 water is caused mostly by water pipes erupting, supply lines failing, and overflowing sinks, toilets, or bathtubs.
Category 2: referred to as “Gray Water”, which starts with some degree of contamination and consists of microorganisms causing illness and discomfort if ingested by humans. Category 2 is caused by sump pump failure, dishwasher discharge, washer machine discharge, and especially toilet overflow.
Category 3: referred to as “Black Water”, which is immensely contaminated water containing bacteria and other organisms that can cause serious illness or death if consumed by humans. Category 3 water is highly unsanitary and is caused most frequently by sewage back-up but also can be caused by flood water rising from rivers and streams, standing water, stagnant water, and ground water.
The majority of household organisms need an organic food source, high humidity moisture, moderate temperatures, stagnant air, and several hours or days to continually grow. In order to mitigate the effects of flood damage, it is important to take action quickly and efficiently. There are major health hazards involved with flood damage that most people do not know about and removing flood water immediately will only decrease these health risks.
Water Damage Facts and Statistics
According to Insurance Industry Research, 14,000 people in the United States experience water damage at home or work each day. Insurance research also states, that 98% of basements in the United States will experience some type of water damage during their lifespans and most frequently, flooding. Those numbers are absolutely terrifying and the fact of the matter is that these situations can be prevented with simple education. It is unnerving to learn that the average cost of a home water damage insurance claim is a whopping $6,965.
Water Damage Homeowners Insurance
Each insurance company has different policies that they must abide by. For the most part, all insurance companies cover flood damage with a few exceptions. The majority of people have standard homeowners insurance which covers any water damage caused by plumbing, household appliances, HVAC, water heaters or emergency sprinkler systems. This type of insurance normally will not cover any storm damage. Basically, if the water damage comes from the outside in, like ground water seeping into the home, it is not covered. If the storm knocked a tree over onto the house and relocated into the attic letting water in, then the insurance would most likely cover the water damage. One of the worst types of flood damage involves unfiltered ground water which travels into a home and usually carries in dangerous chemicals and sewage. Not only is this water category 3 and extremely hazardous, but personal items that are damaged are normally unrecoverable. This type of flood damage creates financial burden and is sadly not covered by standard homeowners insurance. Arizona residents should definitely learn if they are living in a high risk flood area because if that flood comes rushing in and they didn’t take the extra measures of adding flood insurance, that will be one large bill and probably out of pocket.
Water Damage Restoration Companies
The percentage of homeowners in the United States that have claimed to have suffered losses from water damage is 37% and that does not even cover the amount of homeowners that suffered but never put in a claim. The numbers are shocking and taking preventative measures should be a high priority on a homeowners list. Homeowners should also leave flood damage to the professionals. Most water restoration companies work with insurance companies and help restore the home to pre-loss conditions (we can confidently say that we do). We specialize in all aspects of water remediation and clean up and understand how to mitigate the effects of water. Cleaning up the water with a few towels and thinking everything is okay, is the worst thing to do. Immediately after experiencing flood damage or any type of water damage, it is important to call a specialist and gather any valuable belongings in the area. The restoration company will take care of the rest!