Water Heater Leaking Overland Park KS

The Difference Between Water Damage and Flood Damage

Is there a distinction between the terms “water damage” and “flood damage?” If you’re a homeowner, you probably use the terms interchangeably to refer to any adverse water event. However, if you’re an insurance company, then these terms mean very different things. As a homeowner, it’s important to understand the distinctions so you can make certain you have the right coverage and so, in the event you need emergency flood cleanup in Overland Park, you can file the right claim.

Water Damage

Water damage typically refers to damage caused by plumbing problems. Leaking pipes, overflowing tubs, and frozen pipes can cause water damage to floors, walls, ceilings, and property. Additionally, water damage can also be caused by fire; the water used to extinguish the flames causes water damage.

Flood Damage

Flood damage is the result of water entering your home from outside due to a flooding event. The most obvious flooding events happen in low areas where water from higher areas can come gushing in after heavy rain. But flooding can also occur due to blocked or overflowing sewers or flooded dams.

What About Weather?

Does rain entering your home cause water damage or flood damage? Seems like a crazy question, but insurance companies care. In general, flood damages are caused by surface water, meaning that there has been surface flooding in your area. But, if the rain entered your home straight from the sky through your roof, walls, or windows, that’s water damage. If you’re still uncertain, ask your insurance agent for clarification.

Does the Distinction Matter When It Comes to Cleanup?

Yes and no. All water-related cleanup jobs are going to have the following basic elements in common:

  • Stopping the flow of water
  • Removing all portable items from the space
  • Eliminating the standing water
  • Circulating the air
  • Dehumidifying the air
  • Using moisture monitors to verify dryness

Some jobs require a slightly modified approach that really depends on the nature of the event rather than the distinction between “water” versus “flood”. First of all, if you’re experiencing a water or flood event that involves water coming from outside (from the sky or the surface), stopping the flow is tricky and not always possible. For all others, stopping the flow is priority number one. That means shutting off water to certain locations or even shutting off the main water valve.

The important critical consideration when it comes to cleanup is black water versus gray water versus clear. Clear water is considered clean. It’s rainwater that comes straight from the sky or water that comes from pipes. While clear water can do lots of damage, it’s not contaminated. Gray and black water are not clean. They come from iffy sources like dishwashers and washing machines, or downright unsanitary sources like sewers or surface floods. Cleaning up after a gray or black water flood requires sanitation and disinfection procedures to be added to the process.

The Bottom Line

In the face of any water emergency, your best move is to call Emergency Mitigation Services, a professional water cleanup company. We’ll assess the damages and get right to work. Plus, we have the experience necessary to help you file the right insurance claims so you can get back on your feet quickly. Contact us today to learn more about all our services, including water removal in Overland Park.