House floods are common emergencies that will probably affect everyone at least once. Whether it’s a backed-up drain, a busted pipe, or a natural disaster, flooding will probably be something you need to deal with at some point.
The water damage caused by flooding can be as bad or even worse than the damage caused by fires. Water damage can structurally compromise a home, yes, but it can also allow dangerous molds and fungi to grow in your home.
To deter the dangers of home flooding, there are some things you should do as soon as you can.
1.Stop the Flood If Possible
If you’re in the middle of a natural disaster, stopping the flood is not possible. On the other hand, flooding caused by a burst pipe can be stopped by you.
You should know where your water shutoff is located. It is usually in the basement or near your utility appliances. Once you find the valve, turn it to its closed position. The water should stop shortly after.
If the water doesn’t stop immediately, it is because it hasn’t finished draining from the rest of the house. Turn on your water faucets in your basement or at the lowest point in your home to help the water drain faster.
2.Document the Problem.
When a disaster happens, it may seem like little else matters apart from cleaning up the mess. You will understandably first want to excerpt some sort of control over your situation before you want to take pictures. For the sake of working with your insurance, do yourself a favor and take lots of pictures before, during, and after the flood.
Insurance companies will make an assessment of your claim based on the documentation you can provide and the conclusions their adjuster comes to. Having an accurate report of damages, including pictures, can not only better guarantee the best outcome for your situation but also makes the process move faster.
All the evidence for your claim is present when disaster strikes. The more you clean up, the less evidence exists to support your claim. Be sure you carefully document things as you clean your home so your insurance company will reimburse you as much as possible. 2
3.Begin Disaster Cleanup
Now that the flood has stopped and you’ve begun documenting the water damage, you can begin to clean up.
Start by sorting through the flood and finding items you think are worth saving. If the flood was recent, you don’t need to worry as much about checking for mold or other harmful elements.
Be sure to let these objects dry out completely before storing them or putting them away; otherwise, you could be dealing with more mold problems.
If the flooding was caused by contaminated sewage, it is likely best to throw away anything that came it came into contact with.
4.Contact Your Insurance Company
You will want to contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Insurance companies are notoriously slow at processing claims. The less documentation there is and the longer you wait to file your claim, the longer it will take for you to get reimbursed for damages.
Be sure to document everything about the water damage you sustained, including cleanup and repair costs. Keep as detailed a list of bills as possible to give to your insurance to maximize your reimbursement.
5.Fix the Cause of the Flood
Unless your home was hit by a natural disaster, there is always something you can do to fix it.
If your pipes are leaking, get them patched. Did your sewer back up? Have your mainlines jetted? Fixing your problem is not only going to help you in your situation, but it will also show your insurance company that you are taking the issue seriously.
Some disasters expose problems you would never have noticed before. It could be that you need to upgrade the plumbing in your home or that you need to swap out an appliance. Whatever the disaster taught you about the state of your home, don’t sit on that information. Make sure to spare no expense in improving your home.
6.Dry Your Home
One of the most critical parts of recovering from a flood is ensuring your home is dry.
Why is this step critical? If you begin making repairs when your studs are still wet and the water hasn’t completely dried up, you risk creating the perfect environment for mold to grow in.
Mold can be harmful to your health. It can begin to grow on a surface in as little as 24 hours after a disaster. The easiest way to dry a building is to clear everything out of the damaged area, get lots of air circulating, and pull as much moisture out of the air as possible.
The best tools to use are floor fans, dehumidifiers, and desiccants. Using all these tools together, you have the moisture-absorbing power to dry out the afflicted areas of your home. Don’t proceed with making repairs until any area touched by water has been dried.
As an extra step, if you are cleaning up from sewage contamination, be sure to disinfect contaminated areas. Even though an area looks dry, sewage can leave microscopic organisms behind that can cause potential harm if not properly cleaned.
7.Replace Flooring and Drywall
At long last, after your home has sufficiently dried, you may proceed with repairs.
Before you begin purchasing drywall and hiring contractors, check the local laws to see if you need a building permit.
Patch repairs don’t require a permit, but extensive repairs may. The requirements vary by county, so when in doubt, check with your local authorities. Repairs don’t generally fall under the category of projects requiring building permits, but damage affecting multiple rooms in your basement or that alters the structure of your home may.
Contact Western Disaster Clean Up For Water Damage Restoration
Dealing with flood emergencies isn’t something everyone is equipped to deal with. That’s why we help our fellow community members by supplying them with the tools and expertise they need to recover from a water disaster.
If you have need of a professional with lots of experience cleaning up after disasters and making homes safe again, contact us now!