Flooding happens when water backs up and overflows, seeping into your home through walls, floors, and ceilings. If you’ve ever had your home flooded, you know the damages caused can be extensive and devastating—and it can often leave you with lingering health problems as well.
While there’s not much you can do about the physical damage after it’s already happened, there are steps you can take to minimize the risks of further health problems and to help you save money in the long run. It will help you salvage your home as much as possible and ensure that you’re prepared in case something like this happens again in the future.
Here are some steps to take after water damages your home so that you can get back to normal as soon as possible:
Call Your Insurance Agent
The first thing you should do after a flood is to make sure to call your insurance agent or company and inform them of your losses. An insurance adjuster will come out to evaluate your home and possessions and will tell you whether your insurance policy covers flooding. If it does, they’ll then be able to help you pick up where we left off.
Remove All Water
After water damages, there will be water left inside homes. You can remove this by using dehumidifiers, air movers, fans, or high-powered blowers. All of these options work as long as they create enough suction/air movement to pull excess moisture out of your walls and insulation and into other parts of your home where moisture won’t be able to cause future issues. Be careful not to use too much force with one option because you could end up sending wet spots through dry areas causing more damage than was already done by flooding waters.
Secure the Area
No matter how careful you are, floods happen. To contain water and prevent further damage, you should shut off all of your home’s utilities gas, electricity, and water as soon as possible after the water begins to seep in. Turn off your home’s electricity and water supply, and make sure all circuit breakers in your breaker box are off before turning on any lights or appliances in your house. If you have a GFCI outlet (commonly found near kitchens), switch its test button to reset. Once you’ve done that, take an inventory of all damaged items.
Call Structural Engineering Expert
If you’ve just endured a flood, get in touch with a structural engineer. A structural engineer professional can give you an idea of what repairs are needed for your home. They can also make it clear whether you should leave your house or if it’s safe to stay and what kind of safety precautions you should take. Most importantly, they can help you avoid long-term damage by acting quickly and knowing what needs to be done first.
Know If Mold Has Formed
Mold grows quickly in wet environments and can be hard to spot. If you smell musty odors, see fuzzy growths, or experience allergic reactions when you’re in your home after a flood, call an expert in mold immediately. It can be dangerous to your health and should not be handled by amateurs. Mold testing is necessary for the accurate identification of problem areas. Be sure to alert anyone who may have been exposed, so they can seek medical treatment. In many cases, it will be advisable to hire professionals—after all, these are experts in their field, and their help could avoid extensive damage down the road.
Start the Cleanup Process
If you’re able to, turn off your main water supply and open any faucets that may be affected. It helps mitigate further damage. Remove any furniture that may have come into contact with water, too; anything soaked in flood water should be discarded or placed in sealed plastic bags for professional cleaning. If possible, move your belongings out of contaminated areas until repairs can be made; belongings can soak up mold-causing moisture for weeks after flooding occurs.
Hire Professional Restoration Service
When it comes to water damage restoration, you want to make sure that you’re working with people who are experienced in what they do. Using an expert team will reduce unnecessary costs and increase your chances of saving essential items or even your entire home. If you find yourself in need of water damage restoration, it’s best to reach out as soon as possible so that repairs can begin right away.
Depending on how severe your water damage is, it may be in your best interest to call for professional help. Professionals will know exactly what to do and how to handle everything from ripping out floors that have become moldy from water leakage to removing all the standing water and repairing any affected walls or ceilings.
Meta title: What You Should Do Immediately After a Flood
meta desc: What do you do after a flood has damaged your home? Rather than panic, use these tips to restore your property and save your space.