Among all disasters which can damage a home, floods are the least predictable based on the damage they might cause. While few homeowners are capable of restoring their homes, many others find themselves forced to spend thousands of dollars in repairs. Even after that, mold may still develop behind the walls and other damp places where water damage signs can become visible. Unluckily, some homeowners might not be aware that their insurance will not offer coverage for flood damage until it’s too late.
Causes and Effects of Flooding
Faulty or leaky appliances, burst pipes, and damages which are not repaired promptly are all causes of flooding. The low lying areas in your home such as foundation or basement are often more susceptible to flooding. Even after water removal, the effect of flooding can appear in the form of damaged floors, mold growth, and discoloration. Flood damage by pipes or appliances can be avoided by inspecting them to detect the leak and areas that are most vulnerable to water penetration. If left unattended, you might end up having to contact a professional cleanup service to repair the damages. Water erodes the soil and rocks and even alters the foundation of your home. Look for areas where running water has ensued because these areas are most susceptible to erosion.
Preparing for a flood
Below are some tips for preparing for a flood:
- Know the flood zone risks of your property and evaluate your risk
- Place your essential home appliances and equipment above the expected flood levels of your area. Also, check the sump pumps and drains to ensure that they are functioning correctly. Also, test the battery back-up Sump Pump
- If you have a generator, then ask a licensed electrician to provide a transfer switch to your sump pump so you can work in case of a power outage
- Learn the flood alert signals of your community
- Plan and practice the evacuation route
After the Flood
- Do not return to the property until the authorities allow you to
- Once allowed back into your home, review the damages and quickly report the loss
Flood Damage Repair
Damage by a flood is one of the most common forms of property damage. If not treated immediately, flood damage has the potential to escalate into a serious emergency. Contaminants in water and mold growth can damage the process of emergency services and will also increase the cost of remediation. Often mold remediation is compulsory after dry out is completed. Mold can develop within 24 to 48 hours after a flood. Contact a restoration company and ask them to remove the wet contents such as furniture and carpets as soon as possible. Also, notify your insurance company before removing the items that are not affecting the coverage.
During the cleanup process, you might discover further safety hazards, which you ignored during your initial evaluation, and additional damages can occur if you move appliances or furniture from swamped rooms.
Below are the necessary safety measures to take during the cleaning:
- Weakened Structure: Be careful of a visibly damaged structure which can fall and cause damage.
- Running Electricity: Make sure to turn off the main electricity switch before stepping into a swamped room. Try to use flashlights until the electric infrastructure of your home is thoroughly inspected by a professional.
- Damage to Gas Supply: Turn off the main gas valve and consult with an expert to conduct a review.
- Water Contamination from Bacteria and Toxic Chemical Release: Always consider standing water as contaminated by sewage or toxic chemical release. Always protect your skin and eyes by wearing rubber boots, gloves, and protective eyewear.
- Animals: Flooded water can bring along insects and water snakes. Keep a look out for them and protect yourself from harmful insects or snake bites.
- Mold: Grab a gas mask that will prevent you from breathing in any mold spores.