6 Things You Must Do After a Major Water Leak at Your Home

water damage to wood floorIn an earlier posting, Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers noted that the majority of homeowner’s insurance claims are due to water leaks. While water leaks might seem less devastating than fires, even a small leak can cause major damage to your home. Between the mold, mildew, water stains, waterlogged drywall and other destruction, a water leak can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

We have already discussed what types of insurance will cover claims for damage caused by water leaks, but what do you do in the immediate aftermath of a burst pipe or water hose? Below are six essential steps to help you minimize damage and reduce the risk of personal injury after a water leak.

  1. Turn off your water. As soon as you notice the leak, turn off the main water valve. All members of your household should know where the main valve is and how to turn it off.
  2. Turn off utilities. If the leak is substantial, turn off the electricity and natural gas that might be in contact with or within close proximity of the water.  Additionally, because of the risk of electrocution, do not use any electrical appliances near the leak.
  3. Mop up excess water quickly. Letting water sit can cause further damage.
  4. Move and clean clothes and rugs. Wet/damp fabrics can easily grow mildew. Be sure to wash and clean them as quickly as possible. Additionally, the dye in wet rugs can stain wood and linoleum.
  5. File your insurance claim as quickly as possible. The sooner you file the claim, the sooner you can make repairs.
  6. Document all items that have been damaged. Do not throw away any expensive items, and be sure to photograph or videotape all damaged areas and items after the leak. This will help the insurer determine the amount of your claim.

If you have any questions about water damage readiness in your home, do not hesitate to call TMIB at 310-828-9662.


The information provided in our blogs are very brief overviews that do not provide complete descriptions of any coverage described nor do they list all of the important factors one should evaluate before deciding on a policy. Please speak to your broker at TMIB about your specific insurance needs and for more detailed information about types of coverage.