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Your First Steps in a Water Damage Emergency

by John Turpin
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  1. Locate the source of the water intrusion.

  2. Can you stop the water? If so, stop it as soon as possible. Remember, your last resort for a leak in your plumbing water lines is the main water meter shut-off. Your main shutoff is usually located by the curb, or where the city water supply enters your property.

  3. Move furniture, rugs, anything that can be picked up and moved out of the water. Do it quickly and prevent as much damage as possible.

  4. Determine if you can clean up the water or if you are going to need help. The sooner you call and get help, the sooner you'll be on the path to recovery.

  5. Even if you call for help, start removing and cleaning up as much of the water as you can. Use brooms, mops, buckets, squeegies, towels and get as much of the water out as quickly as possible.

  6. Turn on Fans, Open windows (as long as it is not raining!) and get air flowing through your home to start the evaporation and drying process.


Water Damage to your home (or business) can happen anytime of the year. Pipes can freeze and crack in the winter. Unattended tubs can overflow. Clogged toilets can run and run and before you know it, you might experience a water intrusion emergency in your home.


Water is one of the most powerful forces on earth, and your home is no different - lots of water, such as a flood can be devastating to your home. Smaller amounts of water from broken plumbing fixtures or pipes can lead to a ton of cleanup. Our homes are not meant to have water in them. Sheetrock, wooden cabinets, wood floors, trim and doors - all were made to stay nice and dry inside the environment of your house.


If you have or are experiencing an emergency with unwanted water in your home, act quickly, stay calm and know that homes can be fixed and possessions can be replaced. You, your family members and your pets are more important than the things that can be rebuilt. Be safe, don't make rash or rushed decisions and clean up carefully.

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