Water Damage: Everything You Need to Know

Living in a sunny, coastal state like California has many advantages, but it also carries certain risks. Water damage is one of them. As a result, many Californians find themselves faced with an unexpectedly difficult water damage insurance claim process.

But what causes water damage? Is there anything you can do to prevent it, or at least stop it before it causes irreparable damage when it occurs? What kind of help can you get during your water damage insurance claim process? Read on to learn more.

Leading causes of water damage claims

water damage insurance claim processWhen they think about water damage, most Californians think of large-scale floods that utterly devastate homes and leave entire neighborhoods submerged. While these can definitely result in catastrophic water damage, most water damage claims occur due to less obvious reasons.

Common causes of water damage:

  • Burst pipes can rapidly soak an area, ruining floors, destroying electronics and personal property, cause hidden damage, and weaken the walls.
  • Leaking appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines can create water damage exceedingly fast.
  • Sprinkler systems, especially if they’ve been set-up in an unprofessional manner, can pose a serious risk of water damage.
  • Plumbing issues are often impossible to detect due to being inside the walls, but sometimes they occur simply because hoses and pipe joints haven’t been correctly attached.
  • Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning units can cause moisture buildup if they’re not serviced regularly, which can leak into the home. Cooling moisture attracts mold spores and provides fertile ground for mold growth inside the unit.
  • Heavy rain can enter a home and cause serious damage, but unless the underlying cause of the loss is covered under the policy, rainfall damage is insufficient for an insurer to find a covered loss.  

Mold growth, a hidden danger, and why it is dangerous

As if the underlying water damage wasn’t already bad enough, water loss claims will often go hand-in-hand with mold. Mold growth release spores into the air that can cause a variety of unpleasant or even life-threatening symptoms in susceptible individuals.

Not only does mold growth aggravate chronic conditions such as urticaria, allergies, and bronchial asthma, but it can even cause genetically susceptible people to develop allergic reactions they didn’t previously suffer from.

Worse, mold can cause long-term harm to a person’s respiratory and immune system. Allergic sensitization to molds such as Penicillium, Stachybothrys, and Aspergillus can kick-start diseases such as urticaria, allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma, and allergic conjunctivitis.

Most insurance policies exclude mold damage or offer limited coverage.  This is why it is important to quickly respond to water damage and review your policy carefully.

How to avoid water damage

water damage insurance claim process californiaAs with effective fire damage prevention, there are steps you can take to prevent water damage. Keeping the house leak-free and taking care of the plumbing is a habit every homeowner should have.

A few water damage prevention tips:

  • Ensure you have good drainage by regularly cleaning your gutters, directing downspouts five to ten feet away from your home, and sloping your yard away from the foundation.
  • Check your sump pump at least once a year to ensure it’s functioning properly. It also doesn’t hurt to test it more often during storm seasons.
  • Deal with water leaks by immediately repairing dripping pipes, checking for dark spots under ceilings and pipes, quickly fixing any cracked caulking, and regularly examining the roof for loose, damaged, or missing shingles.

Simply put, you can never be too careful. If water damage does occur, you can pursue a water damage insurance claim.

We can assist you with your water damage insurance claim process in California

Sometimes, despite taking all necessary precautions to keep your property safe, things go awry and water damage happens anyway. In these situations, you may find yourself overwhelmed by a combination of home repairs and an unexpectedly complex insurance claim process.

Don’t let yourself be taken for a ride by your insurance company. Integral Adjuster’s Michael McEvoy is a leading property damage public adjuster in California who can make sure you receive the full insurance compensation you’re entitled to.

Our premises are located a walking distance from Old Pasadena. Give us a call today so that we can set-up a free consultation.