Streetsmart insurance Blog
The statistics are less than forgiving. According to a study by the Water Damage Defense organization, every year water leaks batter properties with approximately 1 trillion gallons – undermining safety, structure, and stability through extensive damage and equally extensive costs:
Average Costs of Damage From Common Sources
Flooded House (More than 13 inches): $26,285.
Flooded House (9 inches to 12 inches): $18,930.
Faulty Plumbing: $17,250.
Appliance Leaks: $13,467.
Washing Machine Failure: $12,308.
Bathroom Fixture Leaks: $10,799.
Frozen Pipe Failures: $8,819.
Flooded House (Up to 8 inches): $7,800.
Water Heater (Valve Failure): $4,218.
Water Heater (Internal Leaks): $3,642.
The price of water damage is high – and the need for mitigation is essential. Homeowners and company managers alike must strive to protect their properties, implementing counter measures for all leaks, floods, and more.
What is Water Damage Mitigation?
According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC), there are three water damage categories:
Category One: Liquid that comes from a sanitary source (such as faucets or drinking fountains). It poses no health concerns.
Category Two: Liquid that comes from a contaminated source (such as dishwashers or sink drains). This is typically called Grey Water and it poses mild health concerns to those exposed to it.
Category Three: Liquid that comes from grossly contaminated sources (such as sewer pipes or rivers). This is typically called Black Water and it poses severe health concerns to those exposed to it.
Each of these categories wreaks havoc on properties, pushing gallons of water into every home, office, and industrial site. Mitigation, therefore, is crucial to lessening the effects. This is the process of responding to an emergency – with individuals utilizing a pre-set strategy to reduce risks and spare themselves extensive damage. Take immediate action by:
Step One: Shutdown the Electrical Breaker
Electricity moves quickly through water, with a lack of ionic particles freeing it from the expected friction. This conducts the current at both accelerated speeds and lengths – increasing the chance of injury for those nearby. Turn off all power at the first sign of flooding to promote on-site safety.
Step Two: Locate the Water Main
Flooding isn’t limited to sudden storms or sewer system malfunctions. Home-based issues instead cause the greatest concerns, with the Water Damage Defense organization noting that 10% of all U.S. houses waste up to 90 gallons per day, due to unexpected leaks. This leads to sudden pipe failure, ceiling collapses, and more.
It’s important, therefore, to locate the main valve in the wake of an emergency. Disconnect the pipes to reduce water flow and prevent further damage. The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) reports that most valves are found in:
Basements (typically near the front foundation wall).
Crawl-Spaces (typically near the water heater or kitchen sink).
Streets (typically at the edge of the property line).
Step Three: Remove all Valuables
Water ruins all goods – furnishings, decor, books, photographs, curtains, and more. Remove all valuable items in the flood path and place them in a safe location.
Note: this should only be done when there is no chance of injury or harm. Never attempt to remove items during instances of flash storms, major pipes bursts, and other emergencies.
Step Four: Contact an IICRC Professional
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) serves as the leading authority on water mitigation and repair. It creates strict quality guidelines for restoration professionals, including:
Carpet Cleaning Technicians.
Leather Cleaning Technicians.
Stone, Masonry, and Ceramic Cleaning Technicians.
Wood Flooring Maintenance Technicians.
Marble and stone Inspectors.
Building Moisture Thermographers, and more.
Members of the IICRC must complete a rigorous series of courses, proving their knowledge of industry techniques, standards, and applicational experience. These professionals offer superior service and care during the mitigation process. Due to their comprehensive training, they can more easily accommodate Category One, Category Two, or Category Three events.
To locate an IICRC technician, contact the Institute:
4043 South Eastern Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Search for a particular service – including restoration, odor control, mold remediation, and substrate subfloor inspection – via this online form.
It’s strongly recommended to have an IICRC representative on-call before any emergency occurs. As Weather.com notes, flash flooding can quickly overtake an area (with levels rising at speeds of 67 miles-per-hour).
Water damage is an all too common (and all too costly) issue facing those in both the residential and commercial markets. A mitigation strategy can, however, lessen the overall effects of flooding, pipe bursts, appliance malfunctions, and more.
Shutdown the Electrical Breaker.
Close the Water Valve.
Remove all Goods and Valuables.
Contact an IICRC Specialist.
These steps will ensure greater protection during an emergency.