Nobody wants to have a flood in their home. It’s inconvenient – you may lose possessions, have to spend time away from your home for cleaning or reconstruction, and financial upheaval. It puts both your possessions and yourself at risk of germs and further damage.
Additionally, knowing that your property suffered a flood can impact your mental health. However, the best thing that you can do is be proactive. You can limit potential damage and speed up the reconstruction.
There are a few steps that you should take before moisture or runoff causes damage to your home. Keep reading to learn these tips on what to do after a flood.
The first step should be to contact local emergency responders to check for any safety hazards or exposed wires. Listen to the advice of the emergency responders and take preventative measures before entering the home. This includes wearing protective clothing and rubber boots.
Remain vigilant if you do enter the home, and remember to avoid any exposed wires or potential dangers. Disconnect electrical appliances and services to avoid electric shock or short circuits. When approaching the home, look for damage to the structure that may collapse, including weakened:
Avoid any standing water, as it can be electrically charged. It is also important to remain aware of food and water safety concerns.
Document the Damage
When dealing with a flooded house, homeowners need to document the damage for insurance and legal purposes. Take photos or videos of the damage. Be sure to capture any destroyed or damaged contents or buildings, as well as any safety issues such as structural changes. Also, keep in mind that water damage often goes deeper than what can be observed on the surface, so thoroughly inspect any walls and floors.
Create an inventory of damages as this will be needed to support an insurance claim. Include details such as:
- the date the damage was discovered
- a detailed description of the damage
- the estimated cost to repair
Finally, it’s important to save any supporting documents such as:
- bills for services
- invoices for repair work
These documents can help with insurance requirements and claim reimbursement. By thoroughly documenting the damage, homeowners can ensure that their financial losses due to flooding are properly accounted for.
Contact Your Insurance Company
It is important to do this quickly following the flood to ensure that any damages caused are covered. When filing a claim, be sure to have your policy number on hand, as well as the date and details of the flood.
Also, be prepared to answer any questions they have regarding the circumstances of the flood. The insurance company will then determine if the damages are covered by your policy. If covered, they will work to get you compensation as soon as possible to help you get your home back to normal.
Mitigate Further Damage
Thoroughly clean and dry all wet areas, as even damp areas can be susceptible to mold and other hazardous materials. Replace any items that have been visibly damaged or destroyed. Cut away any materials in the affected area that cannot be cleaned or salvaged.
Homeowners should use a non-ammonia household cleaner to keep future damage to a minimum. All affected surfaces must be completely dry before restoration. Caution should be taken to ensure that the home does not become further damaged.
Dispose of Contaminated Materials
If the flood waters have receded, it’s important to rinse any porous material that has been exposed to water with clean, running water to flush out any remaining dirt or bacteria. Items such as rugs, carpets, furniture, mattresses, and other porous materials that are beyond cleaning should be disposed of immediately in an outdoor, covered rubbish bin or dumpster.
Non-porous materials such as metal furniture and plastic items can usually be wiped clean with soap and water, although they may need to be disposed of if damaged or otherwise not cleanable. Any contaminated materials must be properly disposed of; failure to do so can result in even further damage to the home, increased health risks to the occupants, and legal issues in some cases.
Prevent Mold Growth
To help ensure that your home does not suffer any further damage, it’s important to take steps to prevent mold growth. Homeowners should call water damage services as soon as possible to start the drying and cleaning process. To do that, click for water damage services.
Open the windows and use fans to help circulate air throughout your home, and clean and dry any affected furniture and items. Remove and discard any wet items that cannot be cleaned and dried. Keep humidity levels low by using a dehumidifier or air conditioner.
Clean and Disinfect
Once the wet materials and furniture have been thrown out, the areas must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with an appropriate method. This would include using a strong bleach solution to kill any germs or bacteria. After a flood disinfection of the home is a very important step as it is vital to reduce the risk of bacteria and mold growth that could cause health issues, such as respiratory problems.
Address Electrical and Gas Systems
Homeowners should address their electrical and gas systems as a priority. This includes turning off the main breakers before entering the home. Homeowners can call their utility providers for assistance in restoring electricity, natural gas, and other services.
If the water came into contact with the electrical box, furnace, other gas appliances, or wet appliances, call an electrician and a qualified gas technician. The gas and electric technicians should evaluate all equipment, as well as any gas and electrical wiring, to identify possible damage and ensure safety. They will help reset the main breakers and test to make sure everything is working correctly.
Know What to Do After a Flood at Home
After a flood, knowing what to do can help save lives, property damage, and money. Homeowners should take these steps to ensure the safety of their family and home. To discover more about what to do after a flood, contact your local service providers or research where you can find more detailed tips and information in dealing with house floods.
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