When one thinks of their home flooding, it’s most often associated with a catastrophic hurricane or torrential rain, but it can come from pipes bursting or sewer back-up as well. Regardless of how it happened, you need to know what to do after your home floods. Knowing what to do will help you alleviate excess damage and make the process of getting your home back together quicker and easier. Below are 6 things you should do after your house floods.
The most important step in a flooding disaster is to make sure everyone is safe. If the damage and flooding is bad enough, you’ll have to leave your home for a period of time. When you can come to your home again, you’ll want to ensure that the electricity is turned off and wear protective gear such as rubber boots, gloves and a face mask. These are crucial steps for maintaining safety as you don’t know what’s in the water and want to protect yourself.
Another obvious statement but bears mentioning is to not eat or drink anything in your home that’s been close to any water. The water may have risen high enough to damage items in your fridge and pantry, exposing the items to bacteria that could be lurking in the water. It’s also important that you wash and sanitize any dishes, cups and silverware before using them again.
Stop and Remove the Water
If your home took on water from something not caused by Mother Nature like a burst pipe or sump pump overflowing or whatever it may be, it’s important to find the source and stop it. If your home has a burst pipe, immediately shut your water off and call a professional to help identify a solution. Something small gone array in your plumbing system can cause extensive damage and it’s worth having a professional come out to take a look. They can even make recommendations for other pipes to avoid future headaches. Sump pumps can be the first line of defense against flooding but can also cause a massive headache if they malfunction. If it’s taken on any damage it’s best to replace or repair as quickly as possible to avoid further damage in the future.
Once everything has been turned off it’s time to get rid of the water that’s in your home. Depending on the water damage, you have a few ways you could go about it. You can use a Shop-Vac, sump pump, dehumidifier or a big fan. Take a look here for more helpful options.
The Drying Process
Once you have properly removed the water from your home, you’ll still also want to take care of any remaining damp and wet areas. If you have power then use your air conditioning and as many portable fans to really dry out your house.
A dehumidifier can be incredibly helpful with more closed off areas in your home by removing the extra moisture from the air. This is one of the most effective ways to dry out your home and lessen any water damage.
Give the Insurance Company a Call
It’s crucial to give your home insurance company a call to see what your policy covers in the event your home floods. Homeowners insurance policies don’t typically cover flooding, just some water damage so you would need a separate flood insurance policy to keep you covered completely. At TGS Insurance, we can help you purchase a flood insurance policy and shop your homeowners insurance around with a provider that will protect your home for those unexpected events. Our team will ensure you have the most protection for the best rate possible.
Once you’ve contacted your insurance company, they’ll send out an adjuster to assess the damage and decide if it’s a “covered loss” under your homeowners insurance policy. If your losses are covered, the insurance company will help you through the claims process and get your home back in order. The cost to repair flood damage can be pricey, but if you’ve got coverage from your homeowners policy it will help you out. If you don’t, some companies will offer payment plans to help.
Once you’ve called the insurance company and started the process of drying up the damaged areas, it’s time to start cleaning up. You’ll need to decide what can be salvaged and what ultimately needs to be thrown away or repaired. Depending on the damage, you may have to remove flooring, drywall, and/or insulation to stop mold and mildew from growing. You’ll also have to inspect your furniture and throw out what you can’t fix.
If you do find mold and mildew, it’s not a problem you want to ignore or deal with at a later date. Go ahead and call a professional to guarantee that it gets removed correctly so you don’t have to deal with it again. Mold can start to develop within the first 24 hours after a flood and can be incredibly difficult to remove once it’s started growing. The faster you can clean your house, the less likely you’ll have to deal with mold and mildew.
Recovery and Repair
The road back from flood damage can be a lengthy one and requires a lot of hard work and repairs. Not only could your furniture or flooring be damaged, but your windows, cabinets, walls and anything the water came into contact with could be impacted. It can be stressful to deal with the damage after a flood, but there are people you can call on to help. Water damage restoration contractors are a great way to get your home back to normal with the help of professionals who will get the job done right.
Your home flooding can be a traumatic and stressful event, but knowing what to do beforehand can make all the difference. It’s important to take all the necessary steps to prevent your home from flooding by regularly inspecting your pipes, paying attention to water spots, and making sure your home’s equipment is operating normally. But you can’t prepare for everything and that’s where TGS Insurance comes in. We’ll make sure your homeowners insurance policy will protect you and your home in any water-related event and will help you get your life back together as quickly as possible.