How To Handle Flood Damage Restoration
Water damage impacts thousands of American homes every year.
Whether the damage is from floods, plumbing issues, or other accidents, it’s, unfortunately, a nightmare many homeowners have to face frequently.
Approximately 14,000 people in the United States experience a water damage emergency at home or work every day. That translates to an annual cost for insurance companies of over $2.5 billion in water damage and mold claims.
If water damage occurs in your home, it can be beneficial to know what steps to take to contain the damage and reduce the impact immediately.
If you’re experiencing a flood, the first priority should be safety. Do not attempt any flood damage remediation until you have the go-ahead that it is safe to stay in your area.
Assess the Damage
Next, do a walk-through of your home or building, to properly inspect the water damage. Be careful as you walk to avoid the risk of a slip or fall. Try to avoid the areas around appliances, electrical equipment, and gas line. Don’t use appliances as you may cause electrical shocks, fires, or explosions.
Call the Insurance Company
Make a list of all the damages and take video footage or photos. After you assess the damage, you will want to call the insurance company. Provide them with as many details as possible and outline your flood damage restoration needs so they can give you an estimated quote on the coverage you’ll receive.
Call a Flood Damage Restoration Contractor
If the damage is significant, or something you think is too tricky to handle yourself, call a professional flood damage restoration contractor for a quote.
The Do’s of Flood and Water Damage Restoration
Some of the do’s of tackling flood and water damage restoration, include:
- Check your water is running and safe to drink.
- Pull cabinets and fallen furniture upright. Any permeable materials such as padded furniture will need to be thrown out.
- Flush all toilets in the home before using them. This will ensure there is no mud clogging up the toilets.
- Temporarily patch up holes.
- Clean up and remove debris. Wear protective clothing, shoes, and gloves while cleaning. Make sure to wash your hands after cleaning frequently.
- Eliminate water trapped in the walls. And, remove and throw out any wet wall coverings as they may grow mold. Additionally, remove and throw out any finished ceilings, insulation, and drywall that got wet.
- Keep doors and windows open as much as possible to help ventilation
- Throw out all the exposed medicine, food, and beverages. Canned goods are not an exception and should also be thrown out. Next, disinfect all the dishes and other glassware with soap and water. Anything that is made of soft plastic and touched floodwater will need to be discarded.
- Clean all hard surfaces with hot water and soap. Dry wooden items, wipe them down, and take them elsewhere to dry out further.
- Important items, such as books, photographs, and documents, can be put into ziplock bags and frozen. Later, you can take them to a specialist to see if they can be saved.
- Keep a piece of the damaged floor or wall coverings to show your insurance company if needed.
The Don’ts of Flood and Water Damage Restoration
Some tips for things to avoid doing while tackling flood and water damage restoration are:
- Don’t enter your home if you see significant structural damage.
- Don’t walk on floors that seem to be sagging or on floors that have sagging ceilings above.
- Don’t use electrical appliances, gas appliances, or turn on ceiling fans if the lights are wet.
- Don’t attempt to do electrical or structural work on your own.
- Don’t drain a flooded basement too quickly as this can cause the foundation to collapse from rapid changes in pressure.
- Don’t let garbage pile up as this can attract pests and insects. Additionally, don’t leave pools of standing water as this can attract swarms of mosquitos.
When You Should Call a Professional Flood Damage Restoration Contractor
Unless the flood damage is minimal, you should call a professional for help.
A professional flood damage restoration contractor can get the job done quickly and thoroughly.
Additionally, they can spot issues you might not be aware of, such as the potential for mold growth. If you’re worried about the cost, remember that your insurance policy will likely cover the damages.
Also, some home insurance policies will become void if you experience future home issues, and the insurance company finds out you did repairs on your own.