Just the words “flooded house” are enough to make any homeowner’s skin crawl. Our guide will teach you how to tackle a flooded house with ease.
From talking to your insurance company to carpet cleaning services and even a tip that can save you thousands of dollars, these are the critical first five steps to help you restore your home back to its original state.
1. Take Pictures of the Damage
First things first, take documentation of the damage. Make sure to take both photos and videos of your flooded house. Quite often, most people’s immediate reaction in the case of a flooded house is to start moving items and cleaning up straight away.
However, before starting any water mitigation, take documentation of the flood damage to serve as proof of the repairs you need to make. You could end up limiting the amount of financial assistance given to fix the damage if you don’t have any proof, or even be denied a claim from your insurance company entirely.
If the flooding in your house was caused by plumbing issues or a malfunctioning appliance, you’ll want to save the fixture or appliance as physical evidence for your insurance company for when they review your case. This first step could save you thousands of dollars.
Also, be prepared to discuss these topics when contacting your insurance company about your flooded house:
- How the water damage occurred (natural disaster, appliance malfunction, etc.)
- Whether or not your policy covers the damage
- If your policy was in effect when the damage occurred
- Whether or not you are reporting the water damage promptly to allow quick drying and repairs (ideally within 24 hours)
2. Remove as Much Water as You Can
After taking documentation of the damage (pictures, video, etc.), remove as much water as you can from your flooded house. This is a crucial step to tackling a flooded house because the longer you allow the water to sit, the deeper it will soak into your carpet, drywall, and other areas. This is detrimental to the structure of your home.
Mold and mildew only need as little as 24 hours to begin growing in the affected areas, sometimes even faster, depending on the humidity and temperature in your home. If the amount of water is severe, turn on fans to help the moisture dissipate and rent a shop vacuum from your local hardware store. If the flooding has reached your basement, make sure that any drains aren’t blocked or clogged to ensure water flows out as fast as possible.
3. Move and Dry Everything
Move any furniture or other items to higher ground to prevent initial further damage. Drying is an essential step in the water mitigation process. Flooring, furniture, drywall, and other items may require a significant amount of time and effort to dry properly.
Minor water damage can sometimes be a DIY job, but significant flooding will require calling a professional restoration expert. An expert uses advanced equipment to detect if there is still moisture or water inside your walls, under your flooring, and elsewhere. While you wait for a professional to arrive, use fans to help dissipate the moisture as well as run a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air.
4. Clean and Disinfect the Affected Areas
Once you remove the water and damaged items from the flooded area(s), it’s time to clean and disinfect. Whether it’s your floors, walls, or shelves, cleaning and disinfecting is essential because of the number of bacteria that were in the floodwater.
Rinse off your walls with water before using a strong disinfectant to prevent any mold or mildew from growing. It is crucial to keep in mind that when using bleach solutions and other toxic solutions, use caution if you are in an area with poor ventilation—an example of a closed-in area with poor ventilation in your basement.
In the case of wet carpets from the flood, it’s best to call an expert for professional carpet cleaning.
5. Apply for Financial Aid or Grants
Once you notify your insurance company, consider other forms of aid to help with the cleanup process. A home flooded with water due to a hurricane may qualify for home repair assistance grants through FEMA.
Keep in mind that these grants may not be applicable to you if your insurance covers the problem. Also, these grants are only for homes or businesses that qualify under a federal disaster declaration. You can check FEMA’s Disaster Assistance website to learn more.
Working With a Professional Restoration Company
After taking the first five essential steps when tackling a flooded house, now is the time to bring in the professionals for water damage restoration. These experts will adequately contain, clean, assess, and repair your home flooded with water.
A thorough and speedy cleanup will help minimize secondary damage. Secondary damage can occur if you wait too long, and the cost of cleanup will increase significantly.
Water damage restoration companies will first assess the degree of damage from the flood. Next, they will employ certified technicians with firsthand experience in the field. Keep these tips in mind when choosing the right professional water damage restoration service:
- Always choose a water damage restoration company that is certified and licensed as well as has the training and tools necessary for water damage restoration
- Select a water damage restoration company that can provide referrals from previous satisfied customers; you can read some of our glowing reviews from our happy customers on this page
- Speed, a swift response is essential to minimizing secondary damage, so your chosen professional should be able to respond ASAP
- A quality water damage restoration company should provide you with a detailed contract outlining the service(s) to be performed, a timeline for completion, as well as the estimated prices for the job before they perform any work
- Lastly, choose a restoration service that has previous experience working with insurance companies and knows how to handle situations where the claim process needs to be accelerated or augmented
Tackling a Flooded House With Ease
Now when you see or hear the words “flooded house”, you no longer have anything to fear because you now know how to tackle a flooded house with ease. We hope you keep our five essential steps helpful, and if you did, you can read more helpful posts like this one on our blog.
If you are in need of a quality water damage restoration company and need service, contact us at Towers Restoration and Cleaning today for your estimate!