After your home experiences severe water damage or flooding, the mess can be tempting to simply clean up as fast as possible so that you can get on with your life again immediately. However, not taking the time to carefully document the extent of the water damage can affect your insurance claim as it can be harder for your provider to accurately determine just how much damage your home experienced. Taking a few simple steps can help make it easier for you to appropriately measure the amount of damage that you experienced and ensure that your insurance payout is the right amount.
Keep It All
The first thing to keep in mind is that you should make sure to not throw away any items as a part of the cleanup process. Water damage restoration means that any standing water that remains will be removed, and the area will be dried as best as possible – but in terms of individual items that came into contact with moisture, you'll want to keep them around. This may represent an inconvenience, since some items may be damaged beyond repair and can quickly start to smell, but you need to keep them as evidence for your claims. If you absolutely must throw away large damaged items, be sure to take pictures to document the extent of the damage as best as possible.
In addition, while you are cleaning up the water damaged area and moving items around, take care to wear gloves and handle all items carefully. You don't want to accidentally damage any water damaged items further during the process because doing so can make it harder for your insurance company to determine how much damage was caused by flooding and moisture, and how much occurred after the fact. When possible, simply leave items where they lie until your insurance claim has been completely processed.
In order to keep the process as straightforward as possible, as hard as that may initially seem, you should organize all of your water damaged belongings into groups. This means keeping all of the furniture together, all of your books together, and so on. The sole exception to these groupings should be high-valued items, like electronics, money, stock certificates, appliances, and so on. Make sure that these items are grouped and documented together since you'll want to prioritize the claims on these items over everything else since they represent the costliest damage that you've experienced.