Flood is one of the least predicted natural calamities. Whenever it comes, it takes along a lot of lives and causes loss to properties. The destruction can be massive enough to rob you from everything, your vehicles, properties, house, documents, etc.
But as life goes on, we have to start getting everything together and move on. And the first step towards that is fixing the damage.
One important thing to understand is that regular homeowners insurance doesn’t cover the damage caused by a flood. It may cover the water damage due to pipe leaks or spills, but in order to save your house from flood damage, you will need to take a look at the National Flood Insurance Program.
Most of the time, water damage will be visible. But in some cases, it may go unnoticed and invite another disastrous problem to your house – mold!!
Therefore, it’s advisable to get in touch with a restoration company as soon as possible. By taking this quick action, you can save your house from further destruction by removing the standing water.
Things To Do When Someone Finds Their Home Flooded:
Floodwater is Harmful
The floodwater is very dangerous as it may lead to contamination. In general, the flood water contains sewage, bacteria, various chemical toxins, and mud.
The floodwater also interferes with the water purification and sewage disposal system. Porous materials can easily absorb that water and may cause certain kinds of health issues.
This is the reason why you should dispose of porous materials like rugs, vinyl flooring, carpeting, mattresses, etc, that have been under the water for more than 24 hours.
Whereas, non-porous materials like plastic, glass, concrete, porcelain should be thoroughly cleaned, dried and disinfected at the earliest. Whenever the flood water enters anyone’s home, they should make sure to look for immediate flood water removal services, so, that they can minimize the damage.
Do Not Enter the Home When it is Wet
The first and most important thing is to avoid getting inside the flooded house. It’s always better to make sure that the main powers have been switched off before entering houses. And make sure not to turn on the power mains, even when there isn’t water on the floor.
Also, get your home inspected by experienced and qualified electricians. Only enter the home when the mark the house safe from any electrical problems.
Other than causing water damage, floods also increase the risk of fire. It may be due to the leakage of certain ground-level gas lines, tanks or containers.
Clean and Dry the Electronic Devices
Opting for flood damage restoration services is essential. As it will help in restoring your home to a livable condition by removing the water.
Sometimes, the electrically charged water can also increase the risk of fire. Never use any of the alternative heating devices improperly and especially near combustible materials.
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Don’t touch any of the broken circuits particularly with wet hands or while standing in water. When it’s safe, turn off the main power using rubber or plastic gloves.
In case of any confusion, make sure to contact an electrician who can guide in shutting down the power safely. Never touch an electricity wire lying on the ground.
Unless and until the house is completely dry, don’t think of restoring the power. Always ensure to thoroughly clean the electronic devices.
Using the wet electrical devices may not just damage the device itself, but might also cause serious short circuit issues. In some cases, even the professionals might not be able to clear up the toxins and sediments from floodwater.
Several water removal companies are available in the market for your help which they offer professionally with their expert services. So, always make sure to hire such professional water removal service providing companies who can help in clearing the flooded homes.
As they will have enough knowledge and experience in dealing with such cases. They can safely protect one’s house through the right flood recovery techniques and methods.
If certain items are completely submerged in water due to flood, then they should be replaced. These items may include ceiling fans, fuses, circuit breakers, light fixtures, light switches, computers, wiring systems, thermostats, outlets, electric heaters, etc.
Call an Electrician to Check the Power System
How to be sure that it’s now safe to enter the home? Most people might have this kind of query. It is easy to observe the structural damage with naked eyes. But a close inspection is necessary to find out some invisible impairments.
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Repair the Structural Damages
It can also be any kind of visible impairment of the foundation of a home. For example, ground erosion at the base of the structure, warping, and distortion of any floorboard structures, roof damage like cracks, holes, missing shingles or defective flashing, the wet wallboard, paneling, insulation, plaster, etc.
Immediately take the necessary precautions for water damage restoration. There can be obvious visual damage that has to be inspected by professional assistance.
Like the walls, ceilings, air ducts, and electrical systems, air-conditioners and heating systems, sewage systems and more. Owners should also give the required time to their house to get completely dry!
Call a Mold Removal Specialist
It’s also a good idea to hire professionals that can test the house molds too. You can identify the presence of mold via foul odor, musty or earthy smells, any colored and textured growth or certain allergic reactions like watery, irritated eyes, wheezing or stuffy nose.
If anyone observes any of these symptoms then do not delay in contacting reliable and professional service providers like the mold removal specialists. By removing the water immediately, you can minimize the flood damage significantly.
Talk to your Home Insurance Company
Most of the home owner’s insurance might not cover the damage due to flood. Their insurance policies will be distinguished from water damage and the flood damage while covering the losses which have been caused only due to the water damage and not the flood damage.
Generally, people will have flood insurance based on a condition of a mortgage. But if at all they don’t have the flood insurance then they should check out the alternative means with which they can get the financing to repair their homes.
If you ever encounter a flood, call your insurance company right away. Discuss the complete situation with the agent to find out what will be covered. Sometimes, it may cover theft of certain personal items or damage due to electrical fires if not flood damage coverage.
Once they feel that it’s safe to enter the house, they need to make sure to keep family members away from home especially the elderly people, young children.
Those with severe allergy history, pregnant women and those with breathing disorders need to enter the house only when it’s completely dry and free from any kind of contamination and mold.
Getting the proper mold testing and inspection is also really important before entering the house. Once they have contacted the insurance agent, they should make a note and prepare a list of damages that have been caused by the structures and about the damaged items.
Maintain a video record or photographs of damaged areas and objects that can be observed before cleaning and during the cleaning process. Always remove the contaminated and wet items from the house so that the house can be protected.
Make sure to keep all the windows and doors open so that there is better air circulation all around the house.
Call a Professional Company for Help
You can dry the house using various electronic gadgets like the dehumidifiers, fans, etc. Make use of shovel and remove the mud residues inside the home.
After cleaning the house disinfect the hard surfaces and windows. Check for any signs of mold in all the corners of the house. Check the documents that are important and need to be protected and the ones which can be replaced.
Look for the contact details of utility companies so that they can discuss the consequences of floods and damage that it has caused.
They can also try to clean the house provided it’s safe for them to do so. They should always make sure to take the necessary precautions by wearing the right safety equipment. Safety gloves, N95 mask, rubber gloves, work boots can be found in any of the hardware stores.
Do It Yourself
One thing which everyone needs to remember before cleaning is that they are exposed to bacteria, sewage, mold, dangerous chemicals and toxins and other kinds of contaminations. So, it’s always advisable to take all the safety precautions before cleaning up or trying to repair ones’ home.
If the house owners aren’t sure about the cleaning process and do not know where to start first then all they have to do is to call professional flood restoration service providers.
They have years of experience in dealing with such situations and they know how to get the situation under control without damaging your home further, nor causing any damage to the furniture.
If there is enough time, money, resources and patience one can think of rebuilding a house after a flood. Though the insurance companies might provide people with the flood insurance compensation it might not be sufficient to rebuild one’s home, replace furniture, electrical systems, appliances or other items lost during floods.
So, in such conditions, one can think of selling their home with the help of a professional team. In turn, they can get a good amount for selling their house that got damaged due to floods.
This will also prevent you from spending on huge expenses that might be incurred for clearing the water, mold, air duct cleaning, etc. Selling a flood-damaged house can get them free from all responsibilities of fixing the damages that had caused to their home.