Over 40 billion dollars worth of flood damage affects American homes every year. It’s a devastating loss that no family should ever have to go through. That’s why it’s important to know the best first steps to take when a flood sweeps through your home. Taking immediate action mitigates some of the loss you and your family suffer. We’ve collected the top things you’ll need to do right away when the worst happens so that flood restoration is easier and less expensive.
Keep reading to learn more.
1. Contact Insurance
The first thing you’ll want to do is get into contact with your home insurance company. Explain the situation so that they can get started with the insurance inspection. They’ll send someone to investigate the amount of damage and help you find a way towards compensation.
To help provide the best information, you’ll want to take many photos of your home and the flood in all stages of the disaster. It’s also a good idea to write down the values of any belongings that sustain irreparable damage during the flood. This way, your insurance company knows how to compensate you for those lost items.
It’s good to note that not all insurance companies cover flooding, so make sure to check your policy right away so that there are no surprises when disaster strikes.
2. Assess the Situation
Next, you’ll need to take a look at your home and all of the affected areas. If there’s still a lot of standing water in your home, leave it alone until the water drains away.
There’s not much you’re able to do until the water disappears. If possible, turn off any electrical currents and wait for the waters to recede. Find a hotel if the flood affects your entire home, or move to rooms that don’t have any water spilling into them.
Keep an eye on the flood if you do stay at home. If it gets any worse, make sure to call for emergency help.
You’ll want to keep in mind the type of water that’s flooding your home. If it’s black water from sewage, for instance, you’ll need to be extra careful since anything this type of water touches turns into a health hazard. If it’s clean water, there are fewer health risks but you still need to worry about mold exposure.
Knowing the type of water makes it easier to continue forward after the waters recede.
3. Take Safety Precautions
Once you do venture into your home again, it’s important to protect yourself from any potential mold growth. As soon as water soaks into your home, there’s a great chance for black mold to start growing, even in places you least expect.
Wear a mask, gloves, and rubber boots to protect yourself. It’s good to wear disposable clothes you don’t mind throwing away as well. Try to be mindful of where you put your hands since you don’t want to spread mold if it’s already started to grow.
If you weren’t able to turn off the electricity before, now’s the time to do so as long as you can do it safely. This way you can go through your home without fear of causing more problems.
It’s jarring to walk into a home that’s had a recent flood, so take it slow. Take your time as you go room by room to assess the damage.
4. Remove Salvageable Belongings
Floods don’t always destroy everything in our homes. More often than not, you’ll be able to find something salvageable that hasn’t been damaged by water at all.
When you do find something worth saving, bring it outside so that it’s away from the rest of the damaged items. Any items that sustained water damage but look salvageable should also go outside into the sunlight to dry as fast as possible.
Keep an eye on all of the items you wish to save, even as they begin to dry. If you notice any discoloration, there may be imperceptible water damage after all and it’s best to discard it.
5. Begin the Drying Process
The main problem with any type of flood is the fact that water seeps into your walls and flooring. Once the water’s there, it’s difficult to dry before mold begins to spread.
The best way to start drying out your home is to open all of the windows and place high-quality fans in front of the affected areas. It’s still a slow process, but this gives you a jump start in bringing your home back to its former glory.
6. Avoid Immediate Repairs
As tempting as it may be, you’ll want to avoid trying to repair your home until after it’s dry. When water soaks into things like wood, that wood expands to accommodate the moisture.
If you start trying to repair while the wood is full of water, the wood may crack and create even more damage as it dries and retracts. It’s a much better idea to wait for everything to dry and then proceed with repairs.
7. Call For Professional Flood Restoration
Sometimes it’s difficult to know how to repair water damage. Either it’s an overwhelming situation or you aren’t certain how to proceed safely.
That’s why the best way to restore your home is to call a professional water damage company. These types of companies know how to tackle even the worst instances of flood damage.
They also have the right tools and expertise to restore your home without causing any extra damage. You’ll never need to worry as the company takes over the process of turning your flood house into a beautiful home again.
Rescuing Your Home Takes Time and Effort
When faced with a disaster, we all want to have something proactive to do. By following these steps, you’ll find that flood restoration is an easier process.
It’s good to keep in mind that restoration takes time and dedicated effort to complete. Make sure to follow these steps to get ahead of the game and don’t be afraid to seek help from the professionals!
For all of your water damage needs, make sure to contact us right away!