Water damage can cause extensive issues within a house. Often, this starts after a storm, when there may be flooding on the ground level or leaking in the roof. For instance, a tropical storm could rip shingles off of the house, meaning that rainwater then quickly begins to get inside.
Certainly, when homeowners are filing insurance claims after such damage, they want to address the root of the problem. In the hypothetical example above, the roof needs to be repaired promptly to put an end to the growing damage. This can be very costly, and it’s something that they’re going to consider with their insurance.
But it’s also important for people to remember that there could be hidden water damage that is quite extensive and makes the repairs much more costly.
What does this damage look like?
To find this damage, you need to know where to look. For instance, you may find mold or dampness on the subfloor or on the joists. Insulation in the attic may retain a significant amount of water, which can lead to mold and rot. Ceilings and walls may be discolored from the water damage, and they could even crack. In some cases, drywall or plaster will be damaged and could fully collapse in the future, long after that initial damage.
What does this mean for your insurance claim?
If you do find hidden water damage, it’s important to include all of these costs in the insurance claim. But it can lead to issues if the insurance company doesn’t want to pay for everything, doesn’t think that the damage is related to the storm or pays out far less than is really needed to fix the home. In these situations, homeowners must know about their legal options.