14 Easy Steps to Take After a Flood
This is a guest post by Skylar Lewis.
Flooding in your home is almost always unexpected. Unfortunately, what can be expected are the stress and headaches that come along with home flooding. However, you can ease some of the stress you might experience by knowing the proper steps to take after a flood has occurred in your home.
Follow these fourteen easy steps to bring some relief to your hectic situation:
#1: Shut Off Utilities
If flooding is severe, turn off both the electricity and gas to ensure the safety of yourself and your family. If flooding is minor, turning the electricity off may not be necessary, but can always be done as an extra precaution.
#2: Stop the Water
When the water is coming from inside your home, it is advised to shut off the main water valve as soon as possible. Go ahead and show everyone in your home the location of the shut-off valve to ensure prompt action in an emergency situation.
#3: Prevent Electrocution
Do not use any appliances that require electricity when there is standing water in your home. You can potentially use a wet vacuum to remove the water, but it is advised to first read the vacuum’s instructions thoroughly.
#4: Remove the Water Rapidly
To prevent lasting damage, remove the water from your home immediately. This will also help prevent damage to any belongings in your home. Mopping can remove smaller amounts of excess water in your home, whereas larger amounts of water may require a 24-hour Emergency Response, Water Damage Restoration, team of professionals who can efficiently extract the water.
#5: Circulate Air
During the first 24-48 hours of a flood, it is vital to dry any water in your home. You can begin this process by using fans to circulate the air, as well as opening windows (if weather permits). Once a professional restoration team arrives at your home, the trained technicians will be able to determine how many air movers (i.e., large, powerful fans) and dehumidifiers are needed to properly dry all areas, whether visible or hidden from sight, that have been exposed to the excess water.
#6: Pick Up Rugs from Floor
If you have any rugs on your floor, move them to a dry location to help prevent damage to the rugs and stains from forming on your carpet or flooring.
#7: Do Not Lift Tacked Down Carpet
When carpet dries, it is known to shrink. If you simply remove the tacks from wall-to-wall carpet in an attempt to dry, the carpet may shrink as it dries and no longer cover the floor area. Carpet that has been saturated by water can be handled by professionals who are trained in the best practices to dry, clean, and retain your existing carpet; thereby taking every step to avoid the cost of replacement when possible.
#8: Be Aware of Debris
Floods can bring up potentially dangerous debris as it floats on top of or around in the water. Make sure you watch out for loose nails and any other unwanted material in your home.
#9: Remove Important Belongings and Furniture
Move any important belongings and furniture to a dry location. If left exposed to water, these items may end up with permanent, irreversible damage.
#10: Wipe Down Furniture
Wipe away excess water from your furniture after you have moved them to a safe location. Open up cabinets and lay out books. You want to make sure you remove all water from your furniture to prevent mold from forming in the future. In cases where a large number of possessions have been exposed to water, professional Contents Restoration companies are available to handle all of this cleaning for you.
#11: Wash Your Clothes
Wash any clothes that were soaked by the flood as soon as possible. Alternatively, you may let a Contents Restoration company handle your clothing to ensure they are cleaned and dried thoroughly and to avoid the concern of lingering contamination from the flood water.
#12: File a Claim
Filing a claim with your insurance company will help you get your life back on track sooner than later.
#13: Do Not Throw Anything Out
Do not throw out any damaged belongings because a claim adjuster might need to inspect them. Keeping everything will not only help the claims process go faster, it will also help you receive a compensation amount from your insurance claim that reflects as closely as possible the total cost of your losses.
#14: Save Receipts
Save all receipts that you acquire during the process of repairing and recovering your home after the flood. These receipts can be submitted to your insurance company with a request for reimbursement.
Floods can be extremely stressful. However, knowing what to do after one occurs can calm the situation and help get your life back to normal sooner than expected.
Skylar Lewis is the owner of Superior Restoration, a water damage restoration and mold remediation company in Southern California. They are a full service company that works directly with the insurance company to ensure their customers’ complete satisfaction.