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Precautions and Practical Solutions
Insurance companies treat on average 800,000 cases of water damage a year. Most are caused by poor maintenance or neglect (too much time has elapsed since one noticed a small brown spot on the ceiling).
To deal with situations that can degenerate into a disaster, all insured person should know:
- where the water tap is located so that it can be closed as soon as the leak is declared
- where are the details of the insurance compagny in order to call within the required time of 5 days.
- and should leave a key to someone trustworthy because firefighters will not hesitate to break the door for the common good;
• If there is a significant water leak
It is necessary to :
• Close the shut-off valve upstream of the leak.
• Put buckets under the leak.
• Remove as much excess water as possible with mops, bath towels, sponges, cloths and diapers.
• Mop as quickly as possible to prevent the floor from filling with water at the joists (wood crossings below the floor).
• Wipe water off furniture after removing lamps and other objects.
• For wet electrical appliances, disconnect them and let them dry for a very long time (or use a hair dryer with care).
• Raise all furniture having a large surface on the wet floor, to put them on piles (telephone books, etc.) so as to allow ventilation.
• Turn over wet carpets and remove those placed on a parquet or carpet.
• Blot the carpet with white towels and mops.
• Do not leave books and other colored objects on the floor.
• Open drawers and cupboards for complete drying.
• Open suitcases, luggage and cartons (put them in the sun if possible).
• Store tables and valuables in a safe place.
• Do not turn on the ceiling light. Stay out of the rooms where the ceiling drips.
• If necessary, drill small holes in the false ceilings to let the water escape and put containers under it (beware not to use an electrical device).
• Do not use your dust vacuum cleaner to remove water!
• Open windows, even in winter (unless it rains), to improve ventilation and speed up drying
• If necessary, drain the leaking water-heater (turn off the water supply tap and open the hot water tap powered by this water heater).
If you follow all the above advice and promptly call your insurance company, you will save lots of time and worries for yourself.