Did you know that within minutes, excess water can start damaging your home? The longer you take to address water damage, the more destruction it can cause. Whether the water comes from a natural disaster, leaking dishwasher, or old hot water heater, excess moisture can cause structural damage and health issues.
If your house floods, you should take action as soon as possible, as the longer you wait, the more damage the water will do. Keep reading to learn what to do when your house floods.
Do You Know What to Do When Your House Floods?
No matter the cause of the flooding, there are certain things you should try to do within 24 hours of the flood. The sooner you take action, the less damaging the excess water will be.
1. Assess the Damage
In some cases, flood damage may be so bad that you have to leave your home. Once you return, you’ll need to assess the damage but also keep yourself safe. Check for any visible structural damage, such as warping, cracked foundation, cracks, or holes.
If you think there is any damage to any of your utilities, contact the companies to inspect water, gas, electric, and sewer lines. You should also turn off the water and electricity to the home. Even if the power is out, you still should turn it off in the fuse box.
2. Contact Your Insurance Agent
Notify your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible if you have water damage. Keep copies of your insurance policy and agent’s information in your emergency kit, so if you do need to leave your home, you’ll have this information accessible.
Most groundwater flood damage is not covered by conventional homeowner’s insurance. Typically, you need to have flood insurance to have coverage for natural disasters. Your insurance company will need to determine the source of the flood and what your policy covers.
3. Take Pictures
You should take pictures of any standing water and damage. Document everything and document any work that you do to remove water, remove damaged furniture or appliances, wet drywall, carpet, or flooring, etc.
You should also keep receipts for any money that you spend on supplies to remove the water or damaged areas. Your insurance policy may allow you to be reimbursed for these expenses.
4. Remove Water
Once you have the approval from your insurance company, it’s time to start removing water. Use a sump pump and wet vac to get the water out of your home.
Open the windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and minimize smells and humidity inside your home.
5. Begin Clean Up and Mold Remediation
Mold can develop in just days after a flood, so removing wet contents as soon as possible is important. If something has been wet for less than 48 hours, it might be salvageable.
Get rid of damaged furniture that can’t be salvaged. Remove damaged carpeting or other flooring. If the water was high, you might need to cut out drywall up to the water line. Be sure to take pictures when doing this, so your insurance adjuster can see the height of the water.
Once you have removed damaged items, clean the surfaces of your home to inhibit mold growth. If the water damage is significant, you might want to consider hiring a company to flood clean-up for you, like Orange County Drymaster. They’ll have the proper tools and expertise to get your home ready for repairs.
If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, make sure you are prepared should a flood occur. Have an emergency kit prepared and know what to do when your home floods.
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