AAA Restoration provides a range of water damage restoration services in Utah. Our team has the knowledge and the latest equipment necessary to perform the restoration quickly and efficiently. After all, we understand that early and effective response in this situation prevents mold growth and further structural damages. Leave your flooded home in our capable hands and we’ll give it back to you looking like nothing untoward happened in the first place.
Water is only meant to occupy certain designated areas of home plumbing or appliances, and when it finds its way into other areas, it can be damaging. Water damage in the home can cause issues ranging from ruined possessions all the way up to serious mold concerns or weakening of the structural foundation of the home.
One of the primary factors in helping prevent and quickly clear up any water damage issues? Noticing the signs quickly and early on. The earlier water damage is spotted and identified in the home, the faster you can get the experts from AAA Restoration on the scene to prevent additional damage and begin the cleanup process.
Spotting these kinds of issues requires understanding some of the primary culprits in water damage in the first place. Here are a few areas to keep an eye on:
Pipes – Bursting or Leaking:
Pipes in your home sustain a significant amount of pressure on a day-to-day basis, and this can reach a tipping point if they’re supplying drains that become clogged. The first issue you’ll often see here is pipes that have burst or begun to leak – you may not directly see the water, as it’s often in a hidden pipe location, but you can see other signs. These include cracks in the foundation, mold growth and, perhaps most tellingly, a sharp rise in your water bill that can’t be explained by increased usage. Another sign of a leaking or burst pipe is discoloring or bubbling drywall.
The other area in the home where large quantities of water are used is in various home appliances, including air conditioners, dishwashers, washing machines, water softeners, refrigerators, hot water heaters, and more. These appliances can lead to moisture buildup in the home. When this moisture cools down after the appliance is done working, it will combine with mold spores and promote the growth of mold.
Crawl Space or Basement:
The lowest parts of a home are naturally at higher risk for water damage – water always seeks the lowest point, and gravity is a tough enemy to fight. Leaks from water sprinklers, rain gutters, or other landscaping issues, and drips from higher parts of the home may fall through into areas like the basement or the crawl space, potentially leading to everything from mold to major structural concerns. All homeowners, particularly those in wet areas or who have had water damage in the past, should regularly check these areas for any water.
Water damage in the home or workplace can cause a number of issues – both to the building and to its occupants. These problems may appear almost instantly, or may be more delayed in making themselves known. Here is some basic information on both short-term and long-term water damage effects that we can help prevent at AAA Restoration:
- Water damage can cause discoloration of furniture, walls, floors, carpet and other prominent areas.
- Warping can take place on everything from paper goods in the home up to furniture delaminates or hardwood flooring.
- Musty odors become apparent and disruptive based on standing water.
- Water damage can spread from its initial area into other areas if unchecked, leading to secondary damage and increasing potential insurance claims and restoration costs.
- Clean water can quickly become grey water, which can threaten human health in multiple ways.
- Odors can continue to build and worsen.
- Fungi may begin to appear as water damage becomes a full-on grey water intrusion.
- Swelling and warping of various components continues due to a rise in humidity in the home caused by the damage.
- Drywall and other porous building materials will swell and even begin to disintegrate.
- Metal surfaces may begin to rust while items like joists and studs begin to warp and split.
- Electronic components may malfunction.
- Health hazards associated with indoor air quality may begin to arise, and those with previous health issues or compromised immune systems may begin to experience negative symptoms.
- Mold may begin to erode natural fibers and other building materials.
- Claim costs for insurance rise dramatically, and demolishing or replacing parts of the building often becomes necessary.
Luckily, avoiding water damage isn’t simply a matter of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. There are tactics you can take as a homeowner to prevent these issues from ever causing you problems. Here are a few of our top suggestions, courtesy of the pros at AAA Restoration:
Regular Checks: All homeowners, especially those who have had water damage issues in the past or who live in high-water areas, should regularly check the high-risk areas of the home for water damage. These include areas like basements and crawl spaces, as we discussed above, plus attics where water from a leaking roof might sneak in. In addition, regularly check water-related appliances in the home to ensure they aren’t leaking or otherwise malfunctioning in a way that could cause damage.
Water Pressure: Another smart area to keep an eye on in the home is water pressure. Pipes and hoses are designed to withstand normal levels of water pressure, but if the pressure gets too high, they may fail and either burst or begin leaking. A water pressure gauge is easy to find at your local hardware store – most homes should have a psi (pounds per square inch) rating of between 40 and 70. If yours reads over 100 psi, you should consider a pressure regulator.
Outdoor Concerns: Particularly during the colder and wetter seasons, pay attention to a few areas outside your home. Be sure to disconnect and properly empty all hoses before winter, and also clean your gutters and downspouts at least twice a year to prevent damage to the roof and overflow issues. Make sure your gutter downspouts point away from the home, and clean them to make sure water can pass through.
Water Main: Always be sure you know the location of your home’s water main. If you leave for a vacation or any other prolonged absence, you can turn this off to ensure no faucet drips or other leaks can cause major water damage while you’re away. In addition, if water damage does take place, you’ll know where to shut off your water right away to limit the damage.
Investigate and Fix: If you notice the signs of even a minor water leak anywhere in the home, investigate the cause and do your best to fix the leak right away. Our AAA Restoration experts are here to help if there’s a fix you don’t know how to perform. Know that damage caused by lack of maintenance is often not covered on homeowners’ insurance policies.
Water Bill: Finally, monitor your water bill every month. In some cases, water damage is only detected by a big spike in the bill that can’t be explained by increased usage or other factors.
As we’ve alluded to above, water damage may lead to a need for an insurance claim. These are some of the most common property claims out there, and because they often cause major expenses for insurance companies, this can be a tough area to navigate for a homeowner. Here are some basics we at AAA Restoration want you to know about dealing with water damage and related insurance claims.
Every insurance policy is different, but almost all home policies will cover water damage where the cause was “sudden and accidental” – this includes burst pipes, overflow, sewage backups and leaks from windows or roofing. Water damage may also appear gradually over time, however, and this is where things can get dicey.
Getting a Second Opinion
A public adjuster is an independent third party who can offer a second opinion on things like a water damage insurance claim. If you fear your claim has been wrongfully denied, you should diligently obtain a second opinion from an adjuster. Here are some of the explanations you might receive from your insurance company for denial that you should absolutely have investigated further:
- “Unrepaired leak” or “long ongoing leak”
- “Failure to mitigate damages”
- “Failure to maintain heat and electricity”
- “Failure to have NFIP coverage for flood insurance”
- “Preventable maintenance issue”
Other Insurance Tips
- Request a certified copy of your insurance contract, including mold provisions, limitations and your responsibilities.
- Mitigate your water damage, but do not begin restoration until you and your insurance company have agreed on the scope of damage.
- Document all damage with photos and/or videos.
- Get a third-party estimate on the cost of restoration (our AAA Restoration experts can help here).
- Request a written explanation from your insurance company if your claim is not settled within 45 days of filing.
How you respond in the aftermath of discovering water damage in your home can go a long way toward minimizing your cost and hassle in mitigation and restoration of your damage. Here are a few basic dos and don’ts for this period.
- Remove wet floor coverings and any rugs, while beginning to remove water in affected areas through mopping and blotting. For furniture, simply begin wiping affected areas.
- Turn off all electricity in any areas with water damage.
- Move photos and other art items from the area into a dry space.
- Pull out damp books or other paper items from shelves and spread them out so they can begin drying.
- Use a normal home vacuum to remove water damage.
- Remove a tacked down carpet – shrinkage can result if this lifting is done improperly.
- Use any electrical appliances in or near the affected area.
- Enter rooms with any standing water before turning off the power to these rooms.