A flooded house is one of the biggest challenges you will encounter in your lifetime. Water damage is a force to be reckoned with. Having water in unwanted places can cause a lot of trouble and damage both to health and property.
Floodwater in any area of the house provides the perfect breeding ground for mold and may carry chemicals and bacteria that can potentially endanger life. Flooding, whether in a big or small scale, is an issue that should not be taken lightly. If you cannot address the problem on your own, then you should call water damage restoration services to remedy the problem at the soonest possible time.
In the face of a flooding situation, it’s important to know what to do first. Understanding how to respond enables you to capably tackle the problem at every stage.
Here are a few tips to help you deal with flooding and water damage.
Always put your safety first
No matter the extent of the disaster, the first thing that you have to do is ensure your safety. Flooding incidents that are bad enough to force you out of your home still pose risks even after the water has subsided. As you deal with the aftermath, put your safety first.
Before entering the premises, turn off the main power supply and keep an eye for any frayed and damaged wirings. Also, watch out for weakened structures and falling debris. If possible, wear protective clothing like safety hats, rubber boots, and gloves to keep you from getting in contact with harmful chemicals or elements that may have been washed in when the flooding occurred.
Call your insurance company
Notify your insurer of the incident as soon as you can. Your insurance company will require documentation of the damage for your claims. Before you try to remove the water or clean up the place, take plenty of photos and videos for inventory later on.
The insurance coverage will depend on what type of policy you have. Unless you have flooding insurance, your plan may not include groundwater flood damage. Nevertheless, contact your provider immediately so they can assess the situation and take the best possible action.
If you’re eager to start the clean up even before the insurance company sends someone to check the property, make sure that you inform them first. Advise your representative of the actions you want to take and wait for their approval. If they ask you to hold any projects until the adjuster finishes the inspection, do so. Failure to follow their instructions might cause unwanted consequences. Also, keep a record of your conversations with the insurer for proof, just in case any misunderstanding transpires during the process.
Remove the water and dry out your home
As soon as you get a go-signal from your insurance company, start the initial steps for removing the water and drying up the property. Stop the source of water to prevent it from coming in. If a storm caused the flooding, you can ask the government for assistance. Otherwise, you may use a variety of items to get rid of the water – mops, buckets, hoses, sump pumps, etc. On the other hand, if a burst pipe caused the flood, fix the plumbing right away.
After successfully draining the water from your home, you’ll have to dry it out, as everything will still be damp and wet. Portable fans and air-conditioning are useful tools in drying wet areas. However, closed-off spaces may need something more specialized like a dehumidifier.
Mitigate mold growth
Mold is one of the more complex problems caused by water damage. Since mold can develop within 48 hours of the flooding, it’s vital to move wet items out of the house as soon as possible. Before removing anything though, photograph them and inform your insurance company to avoid any complications when filing your claims.
While cleaning and disinfecting the surface can address visible mold growths, there are those that cannot be detected by the untrained eye. To ensure that molds are thoroughly eliminated before the renovation process begins, you should consider enlisting the services of mold mitigation companies.
Call the experts
The entire process of drying and cleaning out your home after flooding or water damage can be exhausting especially with all the other things you have to deal with. Water remediation specialists can lend their knowledge, skills, and expertise in effectively addressing your flooding problem so you won’t have to do it yourself.
Taking on the cleaning and repairs on your own may cause more harm than good if you’re not very sure of what you’re doing. Hiring professional restoration services gives you the added assurance that the job is done correctly and efficiently.
For more information, see: How to Prepare for Phoenix Flood and Water Damage Events