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What Should I Do After a Flood?

By Luke Armstrong

All cases of water damage are considered emergencies, but flood damage, in particular, can be especially disastrous due to the large amount of water involved. The excess water will become absorbed by porous building materials and furnishings, allowing it to spread quickly. In turn, the water will cause rapid damage and continue to make matters worse until it has been removed. Therefore, flooding needs to be addressed right away. Otherwise, your property will suffer significant harm.

After a flood has occurred in your home or business, refer to the following information to help with flood cleanup and to give your property the best chance at complete flood damage restoration.

Flood damage
The sooner you contact your insurance company, the sooner you can evaluate your property damage

Contact Your Insurance Company

As you should in any situation concerning property damage, get in touch with your insurance provider to file a claim. The sooner you contact them, the sooner a representative can come to your property to evaluate the damage and let you know how your insurance will cover the damage.

However, it is important to note that standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not usually cover flood damage. In such a case, your insurance will not cover the costs for flood restoration and cleanup unless you have additional coverage that protects your property against flooding.

Inspect the Property for Structural Damage

Before you reenter your property after a flood, you need to make sure it is safe to go into. The flooding may have caused serious damage to the building’s structure, which is just one way the disaster can make the property unsafe. Knowing this, take a walk around the building’s perimeter. Inspect it for any structural damage, paying special attention to the foundation. Do not enter if you find anything concerning.

Furthermore, refrain from reentering your property until the proper authorities approve of it.

Prioritize Your Safety

When it has been deemed permissible to reenter your home or business, be safe and smart about it. After a flood, contact your utility companies to have the power and gas shut off. You do not want to go back inside only to be electrocuted given the excess water.

Additionally, protect yourself by wearing the proper gear to avoid direct contact with the water. This is especially important because the water might be unclean and even contaminated. Cover up your limbs, and wear rubber gloves, boots, goggles, and a mask.

If you have any children, make it known to them that they are not to go into the water, as it can be unsafe. Furthermore, anyone who does not have protective gear should not be entering the water.

Document the Damage

As you make your way through the affected areas of your property, make sure to take photos and videos of the damage. Not only will such documentation serve as necessary evidence for the insurance claim, but it will also help keep track of the extent of the damage.

If your belongings are damaged as a result of flooding you can make a claim on your contents insurance

Move Out What You Can

Take whatever affected items you can and move them out of the flooded area. Bring them to an unaffected area where they will remain dry and safe from further harm. These items will continue to suffer flood damage as long as they sit in standing water, so you will want to remove them promptly. Some things you should remove include area rugs, furniture, clothing, and other personal content.

In addition, if any belongings were not damaged but are in vulnerable areas, move those out as well. Flood damage cleanup and restoration will already be costly, and you do not want more things to become damaged.

Slowly Remove the Floodwater

Because of the flood damage it can cause to your property and personal belongings, you want the water removed immediately. The longer the water remains, the more damage it will cause. However, water extraction is not that simple.

After a flood, the standing water must be removed slowly, being extracted from the property in stages. The recommendation is that one-third of the water is removed each day. At this point, the floor and walls of your property have become saturated by the floodwater, so they could buckle if the water is removed too rapidly.

To remove the standing water, start with the old-fashioned manual method of using buckets and pails to scoop the water up and out. If you have a pump, you can opt for that instead. When most of the water has been removed, you can transition to a wet/dry vacuum to mop up the remaining moisture.

Seek Professional Flood Damage Restoration Help

When a flood has occurred, it not only threatens the safety of you and others, but it also damages your residential or commercial property. In any case of water damage, immediate action is essential to limit the amount of damage done. But situations involving flooding are even more urgent due to the large volume of water involved.

Knowing this, promptly seek professional flood damage restoration help from water damage restoration professionals after a flood. Professional technicians will remove the floodwater and use dehumidification equipment to thoroughly dry out your property. Following that, they handle flood damage cleanup and restoration for affected building materials and furnishings. If any mold has grown as a result of the flooding, the water damage technicians can remove that as well.

While the aforementioned steps are crucial in saving your flooded property, getting professional flood damage restoration help will ensure your home or business is restored to a clean, safe environment once again.