Need Flood Damage Restoration
Before you ever suffer from flood damage, you need to be sure you’re prepared with the proper insurance. The worst flood damages usually occur because of extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes. And those floods are NOT covered by regular homeowner’s insurance. You need a special flood insurance policy.
Types of Water Damage
Water damage comes from two sources: internal and external. Internal damage may come from a broken water pipe or a malfunctioning dishwasher or washing machine. This type of damage is usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance as long as it isn’t the result of your neglect (as in failing to repair a small leak before it becomes a big one). External flooding is usually the result of severe weather, such as a hurricane.
Steps in Cleaning Water Damage
No matter which type of water damage has occurred, your first steps are the same. Try to determine the scope and, if an internal leak, the source of the damage. Do whatever you can to stop further damage (like shutting off the water main if the problem is a broken water pipe). If flooding was severe, make sure the house is structurally sound before entering. Be cautious about electricity and electrical appliances when standing on wet floors, especially if the floor is concrete. If power is off, you may want to have an electrician check to make sure it’s safe to turn back on.
Call to report the problem to your insurance agent. Be sure to clarify the claims procedure, and whether or not it’s okay to dispose of damaged items. If the problem is due to the internal type of flooding, call a plumber or service technician to make necessary repairs.
It’s best to wear boots and rubber gloves to minimize the danger of infection from contaminants in the water.
Before moving or cleaning anything, take pictures of the damage. If some furniture or personal property is unharmed, move it to another room. Standing water will breed mold within 48 hours, so you need to remove excess water as soon as possible. A wet and dry vacuum can be helpful for removing water on floors, while you can use dry towels to remove excess water from surfaces.
Opening windows and using an air conditioner or fan can speed the drying process.
Take up area rugs and hang them to dry. You will need to take down wall art if walls are damaged, and remove cushions from furniture. Set cushions upright in a warm, dry area. If furniture has wooden legs, wetness may cause carpet stains. To prevent stains, use plastic or foil “coasters” to protect carpet.
If a ceiling is sagging due to water trapped inside, you can drill small holes to drain the water into a bucket or pan.
One of the biggest dangers after a flood is growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. Mold can grow inside walls where it can’t be seen, and mildew can cause a bad smell.
Either condition can affect your home’s value and your family’s health.
Cleaning up after a flood is a big job. You may prefer to call a professional water damage restoration expert with the equipment and knowledge to get the job done thoroughly.