Few things present as much of a problem to your home or business as a serious plumbing or sewer issue. Water is a devastating force that can ruin properties by soaking floors, rotting wood, and flooding rooms. The problem is even worse if the water is soiled – sewer back-ups and septic tank problems can leave your home unlivable or render your business unprofitable by filling your space with horrible stenches and unhealthy vapors. So what should you do when disaster strikes your home? Here’s your plan.
Be ready before it happens
If you’re already dealing with a plumbing or sewer problem, you may have learned a costly lesson about the importance of good insurance. Homeowner’s insurance can help protect your finances in the event of a serious problem with your plumbing, sewer, or septic system. You’ll be dealing with a disaster in your home no matter what, but a good insurance policy can prevent that disaster from affecting your finances.
If you haven’t yet had a plumbing disaster, get insurance before you do. If you have, then you already know that you’ll want insurance next time. Speak to a broker to make sure that your policy covers common sewer, septic, or plumbing problems.
Call your insurance company first
If you do have insurance, make contacting your insurance company a priority. The moment you see serious damage to your property, pick up your phone and call your insurance company. Tell them what happened, and make sure it’s clear that the issue with the plumbing. This isn’t a “flood,” and that’s good, because many insurance policies don’t cover flooding by default. This is “water damage” from your sewer or plumbing system, and that’s a very different thing – and a thing more likely to be covered by your insurance policy. Your insurance company will help you with the next steps. You may be able to turn off the water yourself to prevent any further flooding. The insurance company may also be able to put you in touch with water damage repair specalists.
Get the money you deserve
You likely have a smartphone. Use it! Take lots of pictures of the damage. Document everything you can, because you’ll want to have it on hand in case your insurance company tries to make things difficult. Check over your policy to make sure that you’re on firm ground when you argue that your damage should be covered. Work with your insurance company and stay in contact regularly. If they try to keep you from getting the money you deserve, don’t just get mad – contact an attorney who specializes in dealing with insurance claims. Many offer free consultations, and they should give you an idea of what you can expect going forward.
When it comes to sewer, septic, and plumbing systems, time is always of the essence. Your whole plumbing system is connected, so the good performance of the entire system relies on each individual part. Modern plumbing and sewer systems can be very advanced, with high-tech specialized piping and all kinds of high-tech appliances and large plumbing fixtures connected along the way. That means small issues can quickly get worse and can cause or compound other issues. The moment you see a problem, call a plumber or sewer expert. The longer you wait to make a simple repair, the more likely it is that you’ll soon be dealing with a catastrophe.
And if you’re already dealing with a catastrophe, time is even more important. Water damage to your home can often be fixed, but you don’t have much time. Call in experts immediately and invest in water damage repair. Call your insurance, call the plumbers, call everyone you’ll need – and don’t put it off! The water needs to be shut off (you may be able to do this yourself), your rooms need to be drained, your carpets need to be dried, and your pipes need to be fixed. You have about 24 hours before mold becomes a risk. Speed is vital.
Nothing can make water damage fun, but with a good insurance policy and an immediate response, you can avoid much of the pain and financial stress you would otherwise deal with. Serious plumbing and sewer problems are bad news, but you can manage them if you take the right steps.