Assessing When Water Damage Is an Emergency

31 August 2021
 Categories: , Blog


Not all water damage requires a call to a 24/7 water damage restoration service. Being able to assess the emergency level of the damage is essential.

Is the Water Still Flowing?

If the water is still flowing, then the intrusion is an emergency but a damage restoration contractor may not be the best person to call first. If flooding from internal sources, such as a broken water line or sewage pipe, then the first call should be to a plumber as restoration services can't do anything until the water flow has been stopped. For external flooding, such as from stormwater, there is little that can be done until after the water begins to recede. You may want to call the water damage service to reserve an appointment, but be aware they can't begin work until the source of the flow has been addressed.

Do You Know the Source?

It's not enough to just notice water damage, you need to know the source of the damage. If it's old damage, then determine whether the source has already been fixed. For example, ceiling damages from roof leaks can't be fixed until the roof leak is repaired. Otherwise, the damage will simply reoccur. If you aren't sure of the source, a water damage intrusion service may be able to help you track it down. Keep in mind they may not be able to repair the leak, but once the source is known you can have it repaired by the appropriate contractor so that the restoration team can begin recovery.

Are the Damages Immediate?

Immediate damages are those where a repair cannot be postponed. If you discover water damage underneath the sink that had been there for a while but is now dried out, then the damage isn't immediate. It does need to be repaired to prevent future mold growth, but it doesn't quite qualify for emergency water intrusion restoration. On the other hand, if your basement was just flooded by a backed-up sewer line, then you need a service to begin restoration immediately because sewage is a health hazard and acting quickly can reduce the severity of the damage.

How Large of an Area Is Affected?

The size of the flooded area can also impact whether or not to call in an emergency service. A small leak, such as from an overflowing toilet, can often be cleaned up and disinfected by the homeowner. A larger area of damage, such as a leak from a failed seal around a toilet waste pipe, is an emergency because water and sewage may have encroached into the space below the floor — thus damaging a large, hard-to-reach area.

To learn more, contact a service near you.