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  • Lacy

Uh Oh... Water/sewer back up? Now What?

Nothing worse than going into your basement to find your sump pump failed. Not only is there water damage, but it could be raw sewage that is backing up into your home. And the smell... ughhh... Just seeing it, smelling it is a nightmare. What do you do now? Call your agent of course!

Backup of water or sewer is an optional coverage that can be added to your homeowners that would help cover some of the cost you will incur trying to clean up the mess that failed sump pump caused. With spring here (finally or?), we are going to see some flooding in different areas. Sometimes even this can overwhelm a sewer system and cause back up into people's homes. Are you covered if it happens to you? Ask your agent about back up of sewer/water coverage. Note - this is different than flooding or flood coverage.

Here are a few important steps you can follow if this happens to you. These steps could help minimize damage, prevent additional damage and could prevent the growth of mold and bacteria:

* Turn off your electricity - Water can be a conductor, so best to turn it off.

* Call your agent! Report the claim. A claims adjuster will be able to verify what coverage you might have in place to cover this type of loss. They will also be able to assess the severity of the damage and the safety of the environment to determining if you can start the clean up process yourself or if you are going to need a mitigation company.

* Start the cleaning process - If the sump pump overflow is "clean" water, you can probably handle some of the clean up your self. However, sewage can be hazardous, so it's best to leave that to the professionals. Cleaning up could include:

* Moving belongings to a dry area

* Wet vacuuming

* Moving air with a fan or dehumidifier

* Cleaning floors and walls with soap and disinfectant

* Steam cleaning or removing wet carpets

* Thoroughly cleaning and drying salvageable property

* Contact a mitigation service. A mitigation service works to prevent further damage from happening to your home or belongings. As your agent, we can provide you with contact information for a preferred provider. Or you can contact one on your own as well. You want to make sure you find one that can provide prompt service to ensure your property is protected from further damage.

* Keep documentation. Documentation is important in any claim. This is especially important if you are handling the clean up yourself.

* Take pictures of the damage

* Itemize and inventory any property losses

* Save all receipts related to repair, cleaning or damages

Before you find yourself cleaning up raw sewage in your home, talk to your agent. Make sure you have the coverage in place to protect what's important!

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