Water damage to a property can be distressing and expensive. Whether the damage is a result of a leaking pipe, either from your house or from an adjoining property, or a leaky appliance, or there’s been a slow ingress of external water; the damage can be extensive.
The first thing to do is isolate the cause. If it is from within your property, turn off the water at the mains to prevent any further water entering. If it is from a neighbour, let them know and advise them to turn off their water. Take photographs of any visible damage – you will need these in the event of an insurance claim.
Remove any damaged or affected soft furnishings to prevent the spread of damp and mould – carpets, curtains, sofas, mattresses, whatever is in the immediate vicinity – and leave them to dry. Call your insurance company as soon as you can. Hopefully you will be covered but bear in mind they may not pay out if the damage is deemed to have been caused by a design flaw in any building work that’s been done.
Your insurance company will probably either send out a surveyor to assess the damage, refer you to their preferred supplier of damp solutions or ask you to contact a damp expert yourself – someone like London Damp Specialist. We would survey the damage and send a report which would include readings from a damp meter and images of affected areas. Subject to their approval, work would begin to restore your home to its habitable, dry and safe condition.
What is the likely course of remedial action? It will depend on the extent and cause of the damage but typically work would include: removal of any damp plaster and floorboards; using a humidifier to dry out affected areas; adding a salt neutraliser to remaining walls to dissolve any salts present from water penetration; applying waterproof sand and cement interior – and if appropriate, external – render.
Whatever the cause of the problem, the main point to remember is not to panic and act as quickly as you can to stop any more water damage. If you own a home or property that has previously suffered water damage and are worried about any long term affects, seek professional advice.