Emergency Restoration Specialists. Water Damage TIP SHEET. For Homeowners

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1 Emergency Restoration Specialists Water Damage TIP SHEET For Homeowners

2 Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required. In any water damage situation from flooding to burst pipes to sewage backups and more your first priority should be safety. This tip sheet will help keep your family and you safe until help arrives. Who should you call for help? Depending on your situation, the list might include a certified water mitigation company, an electrician, a plumber, and/or your town s public works office. Calling a certified water damage company should be your next priority. The longer you wait, the more damage will be done to your house and the cost of repairing it will keep going up. FROM THE INSTITUTE OF INSPECTION CLEANING AND RESTORATION CERTIFICATION (IICRC):

3 General Water Damage Tips Help minimize damage by avoiding walking on wet carpet, removing long curtains and furniture skirts, and protecting furniture legs with aluminum foil. You can also remove anything that has the potential to stain carpet. Doing these things will help prevent permanent water marks. Has the water stopped coming in/leaking? Have a plumber s name and number on hand. Stop the source of the water if possible. Have insurance information on hand Contact your insurance agent to make a claim. Does the house have power? Have an electrician s name and number on hand. Do not enter a room with standing water if the electricity is still active. Take photos of personal items and move the items to a designated safe area. The contractor will need your assistance in determining sentimental value of damaged items. Some companies, like G.W. Savage, will assist in the documentation process to ensure that your home and possessions are returned to pre-loss condition. Make sure there is clear and easy access to your home. You can help expedite the cleanup process by moving household vehicles out of the driveway and clearing any snow, debris or other obstructions before help arrives. Clear affected area and the path leading to it so that the water damage technicians can easily bring equipment into your home and expedite their services.

4 Common Causes of Sewer Backups: 1 Solid and Debris Buildup (hair, paper towels, sanitary products, diapers, garbage) 2 Oil & Grease 3 Tree Roots 4 Rainwater Infiltration 5 Pipe Defects Sewage Backups It can t be emphasized enough how hazardous sewage and sewer water can be to your home and your health. Sewage contains bacteria, viruses, and many other organisms that can cause illness, so proper precautions are absolutely vital. Cleanup should begin as soon as the sewage has been removed the longer it remains in your home, the greater the potential for sickness and irreparable damage. Contact your public works department if your property is part of the city sewer system and report the problem. If you have a septic system, call a plumber as soon as possible. Assume that anything touched by sewage is contaminated. Do not touch anything with bare hands that may have come in contact with sewage, especially if you have cuts or open sores. Wash your hands frequently and maintain good personal hygiene throughout the cleanup process. Disinfect every salvageable item. Clean all of your belongings thoroughly: dishes, utensils, clothing, etc. All food exposed to sewage should be thrown away. A professional cleaning company will be able to help with this.

5 Burst Pipes If a pipe bursts and gets even a 1/8-inch crack, it can release 250 gallons of water a day. Turn off the water. Shut off your main water supply, located by your water meter. Also shut off any water-using appliances. Frozen, split pipes? Don t let them thaw. Thawing split pipes leak and spew water after a hard freeze, creating a more dangerous situation. Consider replacing your water valve. For homes with older gate-style valves it may be worth the money to upgrade to a more reliable ball valve. Flooding Natural Disaster In areas where flooding is uncommon, flood insurance requires a separate policy from homeowners or other insurance. Cooperate with emergency services. If you are asked to evacuate your home, comply with the recommendations of the emergency personnel. Not only will it help keep you and your family safe, but it will expedite the recovery process. Avoid contact with flood waters. They could be contaminated with oil, gas, or even raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or drowned power lines. Stay away from your home until authorities give you the all clear.

6 Water Damage IN YOUR HOME? Get Help Now From the Experts. CONTACT US TODAY (802) / (800) gwsavage.com

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