A toilet overflow, heavy rains, a burst pipe or a malfunctioning washer can turn into a residential flood disaster. After a flood, homeowners must deal with salvaging their valuables, treading through the destruction, and finding a temporary place to stay while the property is being dried and restored. Taking the right steps following a home flood can make dealing with the nightmare much easier. Here are some of the most important steps any homeowner should take to ensure the site is safe and the mess can be cleaned up quickly:
Step 1: Have Electricity Disconnected
There is nothing more hazardous than an active electricity line and puddles of deep stagnant water. If you have standing water in your basement or on the lower level of your home, contact your electric company to disconnect the service until it is clean up. You should call if you noticed downed power lines or gas lines. The alternative is to call an electrician to inspect the damage for hazards.
Step 2: Contact Your Insurer Immediately
Floods and water damage are a sensitive topic when it comes to insurance. While standard plans do not cover all types of flooding, the first step to take when you are safe is to call your home insurance agent so that you can file a claim. When you file the claim, the agent will let you know about the water restoration companies that the company contracts with so that you can make an emergency appointment.
Step 3: Stay Out of the Home and Call a Water Restoration Company
Do not rush to go back to your home while it is flooded. Stagnant flood waters can be hazards and affect your health. Once you and your family are safe away from the site of the flood, call a water restoration company for emergency services. Be sure to keep all of your receipts if you stay in a hotel or you buy food or clothing. You may be reimbursed for these expenses.
Step 4: Be Sure the Restoration Company is Drying Out the Elements
Mold starts to grow 48 to 72 hours after a flood. This is why it is important to start drying out your carpets, padding, drywall and anything else that is soaked in the home. A restoration company will remove all of the flooded home finishing, set up driers and then set up other machines to suck the water out of the air. By pulling the humidity out of the air and running driers, the relative humidity in the room will go down.
Step 5: Start Salvaging Your Belongings and Your Home
Go through items taken out of the home to determine what can be salvaged. As you salvage your belongings, you can start to pick out carpeting and finishing that you can purchase. Stay in touch with your insurance agent so that you know if personal property coverage will apply.
Recovering from a home flood can be difficult, but if you are prepared it will be much easier. Take these steps to avoid mold and mildew, and to avoid any other hazards that can lead to more damage.
Tips provided with help from Leak Busters restoration services, specializing in water damage restoration and mold remediation in San Juan Capistrano, CA and surrounding areas
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer from Sacramento, California. A mother of two, Hannah enjoys writing on blogs of all niches.