Is Water Damage Considered An Emergency?

Sometimes when people are faced with water damage, they’re not sure what to do or who to call. The water cleanup process needs to begin as quickly as possible after the damage occurs. Unless cleanup begins within 24-48 hours, bigger problems like mold growth and structural damage can occur.

But is water damage considered an emergency?

Not to the extent that you should call 911. 911 should only be called if you need immediate assistance from the police, fire department or an ambulance. If no one is injured as a result of whatever caused the damage, a water loss is not considered a true “emergency” by the standard definition.

However, that does not mean that a water damage situation is not dangerous. There are a number of hazards that can happen as a result of water damage, so be extremely careful when you’re dealing with the aftermath. Be aware of things like:

  • Electricity supply
  • Gas supply
  • Water damaged electrical appliances
  • Contaminated water (gasoline, chemicals, etc.)
  • Structural damage

One of the most dangerous forms of water damage is a sewage backup. Raw sewage poses health risks to anyone who comes into contact with it, so getting it cleaned up right away is vital. Water that is contaminated with sewage should only be cleaned by a professional restoration company—they have the proper equipment and training to stay safe and properly decontaminate the area so that it is no longer dangerous.

Floods—as in the natural disaster kind—can also be considered emergencies depending on the severity. But it’s not the water damage itself that’s the emergency, it’s the damage to people and infrastructure that is of real concern. Cleanup can come later—save the emergency services in a flood for people who really need them.

Don’t wait when you have water damage! While it isn’t a true emergency in terms of calling 911, it must be dealt with as soon as possible in order to avoid serious damage and potential health risks. If you’re not sure about the seriousness of the damage, call a professional restoration company for an assessment.