What to Do After a Flood
No matter how much you prepare, life will still throw curve balls that catch you off guard. A prime example? Severe flooding in your home.
Whether a flood is caused by a natural disaster or burst pipes, the damage it can wreak on your home cannot be easily measured. To salvage as much of your home as possible and protect the health of your family in the future, here are a few of the actions you must take immediately after a flood.
Ensure Immediate Safety
The first step you should take after a flood is to make sure your family, pets, and essentials are secure and safe from harm. If you evacuate your home prior to a bad storm, you will need to go through a thorough checklist before re-entering your home to make sure there is no structural damage that could cause further harm. Do not enter the floodwater – this is a health risk.
Look for any signs of warping, cracking foundations, loosened materials, or holes in walls before you enter the building. If foundational construction elements have been severely damaged, there is a chance that part of the ceiling or roof could collapse.
Gather battery-powered flashlights to assess damage without the use of electrical power. Whether your electricity is working or not, turn off the power and water supply to your house.
Contact Utility Companies
You should contact your utility companies as soon as possible to inform them of the damage. Request that they disconnect your services. This saves you money, as those utilities are currently not operational, but more importantly, disconnecting utilities can prevent further harm.
This is especially important with electric and gas services. Cracks in the foundation of your home can damage gas and power lines, leading to gas leaks or dangerous electric current leakage. Shutting down these services entirely can give you peace of mind that these additional threats are thwarted from the get-go.
Take as many pictures of structural damage to your home as you can. Video footage is also useful here, as it can tell a more complete story of the damage. Do this before you start any cleanup efforts or repairs, as thorough evidence will help you get the maximum amount of coverage from your insurance company.
Additionally, make note of anything that was totally lost in the accident. If appliances are not working or valuables are washed away by the floodwater, write a report that specifically documents what was lost and how much those items cost. Take pictures of broken or damaged items when possible.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Once you’ve documented evidence of the damage, contact your insurance provider before beginning clean-up or repairs. While it may be tempting to dive right into the work, it is better to get clearance and directions from your insurance company before you begin. This ensures you’ll get the most coverage possible for damage and as much help for clean-up as possible.
Since most standard home insurance packages do not include flood insurance, this is the moment it really helps to have taken proactive action prior to the flooding. Flood insurance is typically sold separately and is highly recommended for areas that are prone to flooding.
Make a Plan to Repair Damage
Once you’ve gotten clearance from your insurance company and the bulk of the upfront safety checks and clean-ups are underway, it is time to make a plan. You will need to decide on the best route for your family to recover from flood damage and get back into your home as soon as possible.
While it may appear that removing water from the house is the biggest hurdle, that couldn’t be further from the truth. After the water is gone, you will need professional assistance to repair structural damage and fight off any nasty mold that has infested your property. It only takes between 24 and 48 hours for mold to grow. If left untreated, this can be deadly for the future health of your family.
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With over a decade of experience in restoration and mold remediation, All Dry USA has the expertise and high-quality equipment to get the job done, so you can get back to your life.
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