Whether it is flooding caused by a faulty drainage system or flooding from massive rainfall, when your house floods, you are often left wondering “What now?”
In this article, we give you five best practices that you should employ after a flood to ensure your safety and that of your family.
Do Not Touch Anything Until You Know If It Is Safe or Not
Before you touch anything inside a flooded home, you need to protect yourself. Wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and gloves. Usually, flood water picks up random traces of sewage, toxic chemicals, and human and household waste, and since you cannot see these contaminants with a naked eye, you need to wear protective gear before you touch anything.
Do not touch any unsealed food or food that has been close to the water. Chances are that the food has been contaminated by the toxins in the water; so, it is best to throw it away. Do not touch switches and sockets or attempt to use the power until a qualified electrician inspects, cleans, and dries the power box. Connecting a generator to the electrical system before it has been rendered safe to use by a qualified electrician is dangerous. Remember, standing water and electricity cannot exist in the same environment; therefore, pause on trying to use electricity until you get the green light.
Document the Damage Using Pictures, Videos, and Written Descriptions
Before you arrange for cleanup or start making home repairs, you need to thoroughly document all water damage with pictures, videos, or written descriptions. Take pictures of all damaged items before you remove them from the house. Take photographs before you remove wet baseboards and wallboards because your insurer may want to see the height of any water damage to the walls. Do a video walkthrough using a video camera or your phone documenting the water damage inside and outside the home. If larger items such as flooring or carpet are damaged, cut out a piece, which you will show to the insurance adjuster.
After documenting everything, you need to stop more water from entering your house. If the flood has been caused by a broken appliance or a burst pipe, turn off the water supply to your house. Thereafter, you can begin to remove water from your home using a sump pump, which you can find at your local home supply or hardware store. After removing the standing water, your household items may still be wet, so if you have electricity, use your air conditioning to help dry out the wet areas in the home.
You may need to remove insulation or drywall that came into contact with the floodwaters to prevent mildew and mold from spreading in your home. You will also need to clean the framing carefully, drying it out as quickly as possible. Throw away window coverings or upholstered furniture unless you will have them deep cleaned and disinfected by a professional.
Check for Mold and Mildew in Your Home and Remove it As Soon As Possible
Mold can begin to develop within the first 24 hours after a flood; therefore, the sooner you remove mold, the higher the chances of salvaging your items. If your items have been exposed to water for less than 48 hours, they may be salvageable. However, if they have been exposed for more than 48 hours, we advise against keeping them because they probably have mold spores that can negatively impact your health.
You can control mold growth in your home by disinfecting surfaces with a 10% bleach solution, cleaning with pine oil cleaner, or cleaning with a non-ammonia detergent. Ensure that you protect yourself by wearing gloves, boots, and a face mask.
Contact a Restoration Company to Help with Cleanup and Drying Out
Returning to normalcy after flood damage can be difficult. Hiring a restoration company like Presto Emergency Repair can help you with the cleaning process and is beneficial in several ways, including:
- Quick Response: Water damage can make your home inhabitable; therefore, it is crucial to get a quick response from cleanup professionals. Professional water damage services are always on-call for emergencies and can remove the water, secure your property, and start water damage repair immediately.
- Professional Advice: After water damage to your property, you may be unable to determine whether your furniture, wet carpet, appliances, or drywall are destroyed or can be used again. Restoration contractors can inspect your property and advice you on which items to keep and dispose of depending on the extent of water damage.
- Finding “Hiding Water”: Working with a contractor after a flood allows you to restore your home efficiently and prevents further losses. Water can travel through structural materials such as walls, ceilings, and floors, creating a hospitable environment for moisture accumulation. Professionals can use a moisture meter to inspect your property and ensure that all hiding and standing water is removed. They can also check for structural damage such as holes and cracks, cracked or loosened foundations, and warping, and repair those damages before they morph into serious problems.
- Access to Equipment: There are many ways through which you can dry your home after a flooding disaster; however, DIY solutions usually prolong the drying process. Water damage professionals have access to equipment that accelerates the drying process and helps return your home to its pre-flood condition.
A flooded house can temporarily turn your life upside down. Water damage can compromise the structure of your home, cause your wood items to rot, and rust metallic items around the home. Do not risk additional damage. Contact Presto Emergency Repair and our professionals will get working to detect leaks, extract water, inspect mold, dry and dehumidify your home, and repair and remodel your home.
Call Your Insurance Company for Assistance
Your homeowners’ insurance coverage will vary depending on your policy; however, for the most part, insurance companies cover floods caused by burst pipes, broken sump-pumps, backed-up city sewers, broken appliances, and some acts of nature.
After a flood, you will need to get in touch with your insurance company to kick-start the restoration process. Your insurance company will send an adjuster to assess the extent of the damage and determine whether or not you are covered for any losses. If your damages and losses are covered, your insurance company will pay out and you can begin making necessary repairs.
You should note that not all homeowners’ insurance policies cover flood damage; therefore, getting flood insurance is ideal because it goes beyond the coverage of a standard homeowners’ policy. Also, research and identify the local resources for flood victims in your area — you never know when disaster will strike!
Call the Water Damage Restoration Professionals in Los Angeles!
A flooding disaster can cause extensive damage to your home or property. When you contact Presto Emergency Repair, you get to work with licensed contractors and who are committed to reducing the disturbance the flood has had on your life. We can work with your insurance to ensure that you receive the maximum claim for your job and we can provide proper documentation for your insurance claim, including pictures, estimates, and moisture level readings. With us, you get free water damage estimates, detailed damage evaluations, 35 minute emergency response time, and packing, storage, and unpacking services. Contact us today. All our technicians are certified by the IICRC Institute and they are prepared to handle any size of water damage.