Floods are getting real. With complex weather patterns, even low-risk areas are becoming prone to floods. Thus, every home must be well-prepared against floods, especially if you’re well-aware that rain is widespread in your area. Your home can get flooded for three reasons: main water flooding, natural disaster flooding, and basement flooding. Water main flooding happens when the mainline of the water supply system breaks down due to high air and water pressure caused by intense freezing. Natural disaster flooding occurs as a result of heavy rains, hurricanes, or mudslides. Meanwhile, basement flooding happens when you have leaky windows, leaky plumbing or, a poorly insulated foundation that can burst the pipes in your basement.
Regardless of which type of flooding, and even if you think that you’re not living in a flood zone, you must still follow preventive measures to make sure your home doesn’t experience any of the three. You can continue reading this article for more information about preventing flood in your home. However, if you find yourself and your home soaked in the midst of a flood, there are things you can do to protect your property and avoid further damage. Read below for the six things to do when your home is flooded:
1. Safety First
As much as overwhelming stress is prevailing, especially as you see that your furniture and your home is drenched in high levels of water, always remember that safety must come first. It’s expected that once your house is flooded, your home, and the entire street, will also experience a widespread power outage. Hence, you need to make sure that the electric power in your house is turned off. Don’t even attempt to touch any electrical wirings, light switches, or plugs, considering that your hands and your furniture are wet. If you’re unsure if your house’s power was turned off, call your most trusted electrician as soon as possible to handle the situation appropriately.
2. Dress Appropriately
Once the electric power has been successfully turned off, make sure you and your family are wearing protective clothing before wading through the water. These can be rubber boots and gloves. Keep in mind that you’re not only stepping into plain water. Floods could include garbage, chemicals, and even sewage. Flood water is toxic and highly contaminated. These harmful substances or hazards may not be visible to the naked eye. Thus, it’s essential to be in protective clothing. As much as possible, don’t touch your mouth, eyes, or face, especially if your hands had been in contact with the water. Flood water is polluted with bacteria and molds that can be very harmful to your health.
3. Check If Your House Is Structurally Safe
In case of intense flooding, you need to check first if your home is structurally safe before you enter. Inspect the walls or floors for any potential damage or collapse. See if there are any cracked foundations. Once you’ve seen signs of wear, or if you suspect potential structural damage, call your utility company immediately. Professionals would know better how to handle damage, especially those related to your electric, gas, or sewer lines.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
The coverage of your insurance will vary, depending on the policy you have. As soon as you call, the company will send an adjuster to check on the damage and to determine if your losses are covered. Don’t start any demolition or repairs until the adjuster tells you to do so. Make sure you document all the damage on your property as part of the insurance company’s process.
5. Start Removing The Standing Water
Once you’ve documented and photographed all the necessary parts of your house, including the damage, and your insurer has given you a signal to start, then you can proceed to remove the water. You can use buckets or hoses to remove the standing water, but it depends on the amount of water in your home. If the flood is only minimal, you can simply mop up the water using towels.
6. Minimize Loss
Once it’s safe to do so, you can start salvaging your furniture after the flood. Separate the items which you think can still be recovered and dry them out. For those you cannot anymore use, it’s best to dispose of them properly. Make sure to do this as quickly as you can before molds settle in. Molds can grow within 24 hours after the flood, so it’s best recommended to take out the salvageable items to minimize your losses.
The Bottom Line
Indeed, a house flood can be one of the most devastating experiences a homeowner can go through. It can range from being a minor annoyance to a traumatic situation. Even just looking at the enormous loss and property destruction you have can leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. However, remember that you’re not alone. Your friends and family can always help you, together with your trusted contractors who’ll assist you in every way to make sure everything is restored.