Experiencing a flood can be a stressful, devastating experience that can cause lasting damage to one’s home. It can leave a lot of people wondering what they’re supposed to do to recover.
The process of dealing with a flood will vary based on the severity and cause. Here are some basic steps to take when your home floods to start the recovery process.
What to Do When Your Home Floods
Determine the Cause and Limit Risks
Not all floods are caused by natural disasters. A burst pipe or blocked storm drain can lead to unexpected flooding. Determining the cause is essential to ensure that the source of the flooding is stopped, if possible.
If the water is the result of something inside the home, shutting the water off or putting something in place to capture the water will limit the risk of more damage. If it’s an outside source, talk to the neighbors, and determine whether they’re experiencing a similar issue. Consider shutting off power in the flooded area as well to prevent additional damage or hazards.
After you’ve determined the cause and limited the risks of further damage, take photos of the affected area. Get pictures from various angles both encompassing the area as a whole and zooming in on areas of special concern. It’s important to do this before starting the water removal process as it will play a role in your insurance claim.
If you’re stepping into the water to take photos and clean, you should take steps to protect yourself. Depending on the source of the flood, there could be toxins or sewage in the water. Wearing rubber boots or hip waders can mitigate contact with any contaminants.
Call Your Insurance Company
Flood coverage isn’t usually included in basic home insurance. If you live in an area that’s prone to flooding, you should talk to your insurance provider about having coverage added. The cause of the flooding will likely impact your coverage as well.
If your area is experiencing flooding as a result of a natural disaster, you may have a hard time getting ahold of your local insurance provider. If that’s the case, call the head office of the insurance provider. When a disaster has been declared, you may be eligible for assistance from a non-profit or government-regulated organization.
Remove the Water
Once you have the go-ahead from your insurance company, it’s time to start removing the water. In addition to bailing water out by the bucket, you’ll want to take steps to dry any wet carpet so that it doesn’t impact the floorboards beneath. Running dehumidifiers and fans can help with this process (if it’s safe to turn the power back on).
Don’t hesitate to reach out to a well-reviewed water removal company rather than taking a do-it-yourself approach. Investing in having the job done properly can save a lot of costly damage and repairs in the long run. Flood repair doesn’t end when the floor is dry; mold prevention is a lasting concern after a flood.
Prevent Future Issues
There’s no way to prevent a flood caused by torrential rains or unexpected disasters. However, taking steps to control that which can be controlled will limit the risk of future issues.
If you are in an area that’s become prone to flooding, installing a sump pump can help. Have water shut off or frequently run during extended absences during colder months. Keep gutters clear and putting systems in place to redirect water away from the house.
When it comes to flooding, it’s best to be prepared and have a plan in place. Add flood coverage to your insurance and call in the experts to protect your assets.