WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE A WATER DAMAGE EMERGENCY
We're gonna give you guys the scenario that we have to see every day. You come home from work, open up the front door and water gushes out. You take a step in the house and you see that your carpets are wet, there's standing water on your tile or wood floor, what do you do?
Step 1 - Stop the Water Source:The first thing you should do is try to find where that water is coming from. Was it from a toilet supply line, the refrigerator supply line, a sink pipe, flooding from outside, or something else. Once you locate the cause of the flooding you want to do everything you can to cut off the water source. If the water is coming from a broken pipe or supply line, shut off the main water valve. You can shut it off at the ankle, stop or the main.
Step 2 - Call a Water Damage Mitigation CompanyThe next thing you should do is call us or another restoration company, get someone out there quickly to reduce the amount of damage done to your property. We’ll let you know what the severity of the damage is when we get there and have a chance to assess the situation.
Step 3 - Call your Insurance AgentOnce you get the mitigation services started, it's Time to let your insurance agent know what's going on whether it's the same day or it’s the next day. Give your agent a call to see if it makes sense to file an insurance claim. The mitigation company can sometimes let you know if it makes sense to file an insurance claim, but since they aren’t always familiar with your specific policy it’s best to get a final opinion from your insurance agent. Make sure to ask as many questions as possible. You want to make sure that any work done by the mitigation company is covered by your insurance policy. If it is not you will have to pay for the work out of your pocket. Generally the mitigation should be covered, unless the source of the damage is not covered. For example flood water coming in from the outside or a leak from a pipe that had been continually deteriorating over time and should have been fixed as normal home maintenance.
Step 4 - Call Mesa Utilities (480) 644-2221)Generally Mesa Utilities will not give a discount on a water bill because of a flood due to a burst pipe or something similar. However, I just spoke with one of their customer service agents and they let me know that there is a new option available to help with billing rates in certain situations. She told me that the affected party would need to call Mesa Utilities to see if their situation qualifies. If it does they will compare 2 consecutive bills (one from the month where the loss happened and the previous month) to see which bill was charged at the lower rate. The amount of water usage billed wouldn’t be changed, but the rate at which it would be billed might be changed. This is only if your property is serviced by Mesa Utilities for water service.
Why Call a Restoration Company First?
Now, at first, it may make sense to contact your insurance before calling out a water damage mitigation company to work on the water damage. However, the longer it takes to get a mitigation/restoration company out to your property, the more potential there is for damage to build up. If the damage is happening late at night or if your insurance agency has a busy line when you call, it may take a while to get a hold of someone there. So, it’s best to get someone out as quickly as possible. It should reduce the repair costs and should reduce the amount of time it takes to restore your property. That means you get back to business, or back into your home more quickly.
You really want to make sure the mitigation company you are calling is reputable and is not going to overcharge you or your insurance. The quickest way to get that information is by checking out their Google my Business Listing. One of the reasons Google set up the Google my Business system was to make it easier for potential customers and clients to get the most useful information about a business as quickly as possible. In an emergency situation this is extremely important as response time is critical. You can find our Google my Business information at the following link so you can see what information is available: g.page/SERVPROofnorthcentralmesa.
These are the first 4 steps you should take in this situation. In the next few blog posts in this series we will discuss the different types of water mitigation equipment that is used for different types of dry outs and go into more detail about the dry out process from beginning to end. Links will be added to this blog post when those posts are available.
We appreciate the time you took to read this information and hope that it is helpful for you. If you have any specific questions please feel free to call us at our office line (480) 553-7103, email us at SERVPRO9975@gmail.com, send us a message through our Contact Us page, or ask a question through the chat bot in the lower right hand corner.