Whether from leaking water, broken pipes, or a natural disaster, flooding is quite common in homes. In fact, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), flood damage claims run over $52,000 on average. Even repairing water damage caused by a natural disaster is quite expensive.
For most homeowners, repairing water damage caused by appliance failure and plumbing issues may cost thousands of dollars. While home insurance can cover some damages, most people only have standard homeowner’s insurance, which doesn’t cover flooding.
No matter how careful you are, you may encounter a flooded house. Unfortunately, what to do after a flood can be quite expensive. Read on below for a step by step guide to help you recover after flooding:
1. Turn off the Source of Water
Unless your house is flooding due to a natural disaster, ensure you stop the water from its source. Find out where the water is coming from and turn off or seal the pipe.
Do you know where your home’s main water valve is? Find it and turn off the water from there. This is the most thoughtful way to stop the water from flowing into your house and destroying everything. If you don’t know where your water valve is, ensure you find out before an emergency happens.
2. Switch off the Electricity
After stopping your home’s water source, ensure you turn off every electric system in your home. However, remember not to walk through the water when going to the fuse box. This could potentially be dangerous and lead to electrocution.
If you can’t reach the fuse without having to walk through the water, contact an experienced electrician. Electricians have the necessary tools and expertise to handle such situations safely.
3. Evacuate the House
If a sewage leak or a burst pipe is the problem in your house, find a safe, dry spot outside and evacuate everyone from the building. Your safe area may be as close as your backyard or as far off as your next-door neighbor’s house. Ensure that everyone who lives under your roof is unhurt and accounted for.
Check on your children and pets to see if they are okay. If the cause of the flooding is a natural disaster, then ensure that you ask the authorities and listen closely to the news to find out the nearest safe spot or shelter. Ensure everyone relocates to this shelter for safety reasons.
4. Call 911 for Help
Once your family members and pets are in a safe place, call for help. Check whether anyone needs medical attention and call 911 for assistance. They will send an ambulance and paramedics to ensure that the hurt person is attended to.
After flooding happens, don’t focus on saving your items; look at your loved ones’ well-being. After ensuring everyone’s safety, you may now go ahead and place a call to the relevant parties to start the recovery process going.
If you are a renter, call your landlord, while homeowners should contact the insurance company. The landlord should always be in the loop on what is happening in your house. Ensure you always have their mobile numbers on your phone in case of an emergency.
5. Document Everything
The first thing that comes to people’s minds when they think about what to do after a flood is cleaning the mess up. Don’t do that. Start by documenting everything so that you can use it as proof to your insurer.
Ensure you take plenty of pictures and videos to show your insurer the extent of the damage caused by the floods. However, be very careful when filming. That’s because the water may contain hazardous materials and sewerage that could potentially harm your health.
Before you get into a flooded house, wear protective equipment such as boots and waders.
6. Clean up
Cleaning up after flooding happens can be a long and tiresome process. You will need to make sure all water is drained from the floor, reclaim any items you can, disinfect the area, and dry out excess water. You will need to do all these while still wearing your protective equipment.
If you live in a flood-prone area, ensure you always have your protective equipment on hand in case of a flood.
7. Prevent Mold Spread
On top of the direct damage and loss caused by floods, there is also secondary damage such as mold infestation. Mold is one of the biggest problems homeowners experience after flooding. Black mold and toxic mold could have a lasting effect on your health.
Keep the flooded area as dry as possible to avoid mold growth. You can also use a strong cleaning solution such as bleach to clean potentially affected mold areas.
8. Work With a Contractor You Can Trust
Water damage restoration is quite hectic after a flood. Remember to hire restoration contractors to handle all the structural damage caused by the flooding.
Before hiring a contractor, ensure you check the reviews on their website. Are they also experienced and within your budget?
Don’t hire a contractor who is just looking to capitalize on your loss. Repairs and construction work after a flood can be a big nightmare, primarily if you work with the wrong contractors.
Save yourself the headache and confirm that the contractor is reputable and licensed to work in your area. After the restoration process is complete, ensure you take steps to protect your home from flood and water damage.
How to Get Things Back to Normal After Water Damage
Are you dealing with water damage caused by a house flood? While your first instinct is to get everything back to the way it was before, water damage can be pretty hectic and time-consuming to repair.
You may not stop flooding caused by natural disasters and burst pipes from happening. However, you can take the proper steps to ensure that you are adequately prepared for the flooding and reduce the risk of the resulting damage affecting you. The best way to do this is by ensuring you have an all-inclusive homeowner’s coverage that also includes floods and water damage.
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