Did You Detect Water Damage in Your Home? Here’s What You Should Know about Selling a House with Water Damage

As a homeowner, one of the worst things you want to hear is “the pipe broke and the house is flooded,” or “our roof is leaking and now we have mold.” Now you have to figure out what to do next, and worry about whether your insurance will cover cost of repairs for the damage. Unfortunately, water damage is very common in homes throughout the country. Water damage is the second most common reasons for homeowner insurance claims. And, the number of claims is actually increasing. Water damage can take place over time, or very quickly depending on the source or cause.

Some of the most common culprits include the following: a leaky roof, a pipe that has burst, windows or doors that weren’t installed correctly, water lines that are broken, toilets leaking, and in some cases, actual natural causes like flooding.

What Steps to Take When You Detect Water Damage in Your Home:

If you have a leak or have a flood in your home, there are some immediate steps you should take in protecting your home from further damage. The quicker you notice a problem and some damage, the easier it will be to address the problem and qualify for insurance coverage.

First, call your insurance company immediately. Take photos of the damage (outside and inside) and consult with your representative about your options for remediation.

Next, remove any porous materials or items that contain water. For example: mattresses, furniture, clothes, rugs, and any other wet items. Remove these things and get them outside to dry.

Then, start the drying process. Mold can start growing in moist or wet areas within 24-48 hours, so beginning to dry out the affected areas is imperative. Hire a professional or rent a humidifier or industrial fan to help in the process.

Lastly, dispose of any damaged items. Depending on the source of the water leak, you could be dealing with contaminated water and bacteria that needs to be removed. Water from a dishwasher, or another fresh water source isn’t much of an issue. On the other hand, sewage backup and leaking toilets are another story.

What Will Homeowner Insurance Cover?

If you detect the water damage immediately after the incident causing the leak takes place, you are more likely to receive aid and coverage from your insurance company. Insurance is intended to cover accidental or sudden damage. So, if you notice something like a leak in your roof, notify your insurance agent as quickly as you can to increase the chance of approval for your claim. The only exception to these incidents is flooding.  If there is a natural disaster and you have typical homeowner’s insurance, your insurance will not cover the damage from flooding.

Insurance will also not cover gradual damage. This is where there is a bit of “grey area” in regards to insurance coverage of water damage. Basically, if the insurance company can prove that the water damage occurred overtime or due to the homeowner’s negligence in some way, they will not cover the damage. So, if you have a leaky pipe that has been leaking for a long while unbeknownst to you, and now you’re beginning to see mold on your ceilings…you could be in trouble. Here are some examples of gradual damage that is not covered by your provider:

  • Plumbing leaks that have caused damage to ceiling, floors, or walls
  • Seeping coming from the foundation or exterior that has caused damage overtime
  • Deteriorating roof shingles or tiles that have caused the water damage
  • Wood rot, mold, or corrosion
  • Electrical wiring that has deteriorated

Selling a House with Water Damage

If the water damage to your home is not going to be covered by your insurance, either because it was something that happened gradually or happened due to a flood, you still have options. Your first option would be to hire a restoration specialist and contractor to repair the damage yourself. If you can’t afford the cost to repair the damage or mold, your other option would be to sell the house. Finding a leak or mold can be really scary as a homeowner, and selling a house with damage can provide stressful challenges as well. Its best practice not to hide any damage incurred from water or unwanted moisture, and to disclose all affects to potential buyers. Mold remediation and similar repairs are not always easy, and many buyers will be turned off by such damage. But, we won’t.

Even if your home has a major mold issue due to water damage, we’ll still buy it. We are experts in remediating issues like mold or deteriorating walls and roofs. Even cracks in your foundation won’t scare us away! We offer a solution in selling your house despite all damage and needed repairs, and we’ll make the process quick and painless. Don’t stress about forking out the funds to pay for repairs; instead, get a cash offer and pay no out of pocket fees or costs.