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What’s the Difference Between Flood Damage and Water Damage?

October 10, 2019

Many people use the terms flood damage and water damage interchangeably when going through the claims process after an accident or weather event, but the two are very distinct things! Knowing the right term to describe your situation is vital for receiving compensation from an insurance company, filing a claim and working with a remediation company to restore your home to the previous condition.

Water Damage

Water damage is a very broad category that includes a huge range of things that can happen in a home. Water seeping out from a broken water heater, a burst sewer line, a leaky toilet or countless other sources could lead to water damage. Because there are so many possible causes of water damage, it can also drastically range in severity and scope.

Flood Damage

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) establishes the guidelines for what constitutes flood damage. First, the definition of flood is “a temporary situation where two or more acres of dry land, or two or more units of property, are covered in water from a list of water sources. The potential sources of flood damage water include:

  • An overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • Mudflow
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters
  • Collapse of land along the shores of a lake or similar body of water due to erosion or caused by waves
    exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that lead to a flood

Water Damage vs. Flood Damage

Based on the above, there is one key question that dictates what type of damage your home is dealing with—is your home the only house that is having problems? If the answer is no, there’s a good chance you are coping with flood damage.

While water damage is often covered by homeowner’s insurance policies, flood damage is only covered by a flood insurance policy. It’s essential to understand what you are dealing with to work with both Flood Department and your insurance company. We can work with you to determine what type of damage your home has incurred and develop an adequate restoration plan. Because the clean-up process is different if the damage is water damage or flood damage, the source of the water matters. Is it safer to clean up water from a leaking faucet in your home that was already filtered and treated? Or, is it safer to clean up flood water that could contain sewage, toxic material and pathogens? The difference matters!

Flood and Water Remediation from Flood Department

Flood Department can complete a wide range of mold removal, flood damage restoration, smoke damage remediation and crime scene clean-up services. To learn more about our services and get your water damage problem taken care of before it becomes worse, give us a call at 301-829-2600.

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