If you do not live in a flood-prone area, you might think you have no reason to worry about your home suffering from flood damage. However, many areas that were not considered flood prone in the past are now at risk, due to changes in weather patterns and construction projects that divert natural water sources. Not to mention that not every flood is the result of a torrential storm; burst pipes and other plumbing problems cause most.
By taking the correct steps in the wake of your home flooding, you can minimize the damage you suffer and get your home livable sooner. Below are the six essential steps you should take after your home floods.
1. Call Your Insurance Company
As soon as you are safe, you need to contact your insurance company. At this point, you are just getting the ball rolling, reaching your agent and finding out what you need to do. You may or may not be able to file a claim at this stage. Trust your agent to walk you through this process and let you know how to handle the next steps.
2. Make Certain it Is Safe to Return
Before you start working on your home, you need to make sure it is safe for you to be inside. Assuming that the flooding was minor, this will require a quick survey of the home for warping and problems with the foundation. If your home has significant flooding, you would want to have it surveyed by a professional contractor and have the utility companies come in to make sure that your electricity and gas do not pose a danger to you.
3. Get the Gear You Need
Before you venture back into your home, you want to make sure it has adequate protection against future flooding. Even when the water looks clean, you can encounter nasty things. For example, if your pipes burst, the resulting water could contain sewage. If it is a flood, all manner of contaminants could be present. You want to wear rubber boots that are high enough to prevent contact with water, rubber gloves, and a face mask as you enter your home.
4. Document Everything
You want to make sure that you have everything you need to back up the claim you file with your homeowners’ insurance. Start by taking pictures of the home while flooded, then as you go through the process of getting things cleaned up, photograph any damage you come across. If you have contractors and other professionals come out to survey the home, hold on to any written reports they give you. Keep in mind that you want to file as soon as possible, even if you don’t have all the damage documented yet.
5. Clear Out the Water
Do not do this until your insurance company gives you the green light. Once they do, you need to get a sump pump to remove the water from your home if the flooding is significant or a wet vac if it is relatively minor. You can purchase these items at the hardware store or contact a plumbing service. If possible, a plumbing service like Orange Coast Plumbing is best since they can repair damage to pipes at the same time.
6. Dry Out Your Home
Once the water is out of the house, it is time to dry out the home. With the water gone, there will still be dampness that can encourage mold growth and other problems. Dehumidifiers can help, but if the flooding was massive, you might need a professional service with more powerful tools to dry out the home.
Need Help? Call Orange Coast Plumbing
If your pipes have burst or you need assistance in getting flood water out of your home, contact Orange Coast Plumbing. We have the tools and expertise necessary to get the water out and get your home back in shape. Just give us a call.