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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Important Differences Between Flood Damage and Storm Damage

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding with a orange road block If you are located in a high-risk area, you can purchase flood insurance through the federal government.

With the number and intensity of extreme weather events increasing, home and business owners are increasingly at risk for water damage. If water from flooding or another source has affected your Burlington/Woburn business, understanding the differences between flood damage and stormwater damage will inform how you approach the cleanup and restoration process.

What Is Stormwater Damage?

When water from a weather event enters your building via certain entry points, it is considered stormwater. The water must enter the structure prior to contacting the ground, such as in the following examples.

Water from heavy rain or melting snow leaks in through your roof.
Rainwater enters through a damaged roof vent.
Ice damming prevents water from draining properly and it leaks into your building.
Hail breaks a window and stormwater enters through the broken window.

These are just a few ways stormwater can cause water damage. Generally, storm damage will be covered by your business insurance policy. It is smart to contact your insurance agent early on to discuss your coverage. Once stormwater hits the ground, it becomes floodwater, which is covered differently by insurance.

What Is Floodwater Damage?

The primary difference between flood damage and stormwater damage is determined by the original entry point of the water. If it enters your building from ground level or below, whether it is caused by a weather event or not, it is considered floodwater.
Floodwater damage can be the result of severe weather events or municipal, structural failures, such as dam breaches or water main breaks. Floodwater bears the highest level of water contamination as it can contain sewage, toxic chemicals and other unknown hazardous materials. The cleanup requires trained water remediation experts and can be time-consuming and costly. Your business insurance will generally not cover flood damage. 

When water damage from flooding or another source affects your business, it can be unsettling and costly. Assessing the type of damage you have will help you determine a strategy for restoring your property and returning your company to business as usual.

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