When your house floods, the water can wreak havoc on the structure of the home, your personal belongings, and the health of the inside environment. Whether a flood is caused by falling water, ground water, or a home water system malfunction, there are certain things you’ll need to do as soon as possible after the flood to ensure the safety of your home, as well as give you the best possible outcome with your insurance company. Here are our top tips to make it through house floods:
Avoid Additional Hazards
If the flood was bad enough for you to evacuate your home, be sure to stay extremely safe upon your return. Thoroughly check for any visible structural damage, such as warping, loose, or cracked foundation elements and holes before entering the home. If you have access, turn off all water and electrical sources within the home. Even if the power isn’t operational, it’s a good idea to turn off the main power just in case power is reactivated. If you suspect damage to water, gas, electric, or sewer lines, contact your utility company immediately.
Take Pictures and Call your Insurance Company
Before you begin the clean up process or make any repairs, fully document the damage for your insurer by taking pictures and/or videos. Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their purchase date and value (with receipts if possible). Some damaged items may require disposal, so keep photographs of these items. Call you insurance agent ASAP to see what their process is for house floods. Be sure to follow the insurance company’s direction about whether or not to wait for an adjuster to inspect the property before making repairs. Don’t forget to document all conversations (date, time, agent’s name, and what was discussed) at every stage of the process.
Protect your Health
Even if the water in your home doesn’t appear to be dirty, it could be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. If you must enter the home, we suggest buying hip or waist-high waterproof boots. In addition, wear rubber gloves and a breathing mask when you enter your home. Throw out any food, drinks, or medication that may have come into contact with flood waters. Boil water for drinking and food preparation until authorities tell you that your water supply is safe. Lastly, when you get the go ahead from your insurance company to start cleaning up, remove wet contents as quickly as possible to cut down on mold growth.
Always listen to authorities when it comes to gaining access to your home. They’re the trained professionals and know what is best for you and your family!