May 21, 2010 by Canadian Underwriter
The best way to mitigate water damage losses – and keep costs in check -is through immediate response, Dave Bonnar, director of franchising and insurance development of Steamatic, said.
“The faster we can get in, the faster we can start saving you money,” Bonnar said at a Flood and Learn seminar on May 20 at Steamatic Durham/GTA East.
Within 72 hours, mould begins to develop, increasing the amount of work required, resulting in increased cost to the insurer.
Direct water damage may be a singular event, which is easily cleaned up, since damage is often limited to those objects with which the water came into contact, Bonnar said.
But moisture damage typically accompanies a water damage incident that is either extensive or has not been cleaned up quick enough, he added.
As humidity levels increase, the surrounding materials, including the drywall, concrete, ceiling, etc., begin to absorb the excess moisture, which adds to the cost of a claim.
To restore a space to its original balance of moisture – which is between 30% and 50% humidity – the water must be extracted from the floors and carpeting, wet items need to be removed or dried, ventilation and evaporation must be encouraged through the use or air movement (high velocity air movers).
When drying a structure, one to two complete air exchanges of the entire air volume of the building are generally required to aggressively dry the area, he said.