Is water damage really a big deal? Yes! From furniture to your health, water damage can be financially costly and potentially dangerous to your health.

How is water damage financially costly? Standing water permanently damages hardwood floors and furniture to the point where they cannot be repaired. It can also stain rugs, carpets and upholstery. These items can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars or more!

Does insurance help? Yes! Most problems, especially if reported immediately to your insurance adjuster, will be 100% covered by your insurance policy (excepting your annual deductible). But remember – the best time to make sure you are covered is before you have a problem. Call your adjuster today and make sure you have adequate coverage and that it is up to date.

Will my insurance be cancelled or my rates be raised if I make a claim? While only your insurance adjustor can answer that question for you, there are definitely policies that allow for this type of claim with no adverse affects to your rates.

What about the health risks of water damage? There several risk factors involved when you deal with moisture in your home. First of all is the immediate safety of avoiding injury when dealing with the source of the leakage. DO NOT TOUCH any electrical switches or unplug any lights or equipment while standing in water. If it’s dark, use flashlights to see. From moisture trapped in walls, ceilings and improperly dried-out carpets and upholstered furniture, bacteria and mold can grow and can be very dangerous to your skin and respiratory system.

Can I see or smell mold or mildew problems? Not always. There are many types of organisms that grow when your home is not properly dried out, some are visible to the naked eye and some aren’t.

Can’t I dry this stuff myself? Without moisture meters, effective chemicals, industrial strength blowers and proper training, you are risking improper dry-out which can leave your structure and your health at risk.

What types of preventative measures can I take against flooding? Other than some canyon areas, low-lying valleys and Malibu, most flood damage in homes in the Los Angeles area is caused by broken pipes, leaking appliances or over-flowing toilets and bathtubs. So you should check drains, fixtures and connections as often as possible. Broken pipes can be tough to predict, but you can have your plumber do a pressure test on your plumbing system which could help detect leaks.

What types of preventative measures can I take against mold, mildew and bacteria? Make sure there are no sprinklers spraying against the exterior of your house. Make sure there are not standing puddles of water against your house. Make sure there are no slow leaks under sinks, around toilets, showers and tubs. Try to avoid overspray leaking past the shower curtain or shower door. Avoid dripping excessive amounts of water on carpets or wood floors and leaving it to evaporate when getting in and out the shower.

How can I recognize a mold or mildew problem? You can look for dark edges where your carpet meets the walls. Soft, moist wood next to sinks or showers can indicate a problem. You also may want to call for an inspection if you or family members are having chronic respiratory problems.