Steps To Take When You Have a Flood In Your Home

There are steps you need to follow within 24 hours of flooding, whether it comes from ground water, rain or household system malfunctions. These practices will help ensure the best outcome with your insurance company and minimise the amount of total risk of permeant damage and safety risks.

  • Take photos or videos —document the damage, before you get rid of standing water. Use digital as it’s easy to store, copy, and send to your insurance
  • Wear special clothing for protection. Wear waders, goggles, hip-high waterproof boots, rubber gloves, safety waterproof work boots and air repository masks. You can find a very durable and waterproof pair of safety work boots from Work Boot Worx.
  • Check for cracks, holes, warping, loosened or cracked foundation—before entering your house
  • If water, gas, electric or sewer lines are damaged —report it to the utility company immediately
  • Call your insurance company—report the condition of your house and any repairs you intend to do immediately. If the insurance tells you to wait for an adjuster to inspect the property before making repairs, then do so

  • If your home isn’t habitable—find out what provisions your insurance will make for temporary housing during repairs. Move to a temporary place or a shelter
  • Are you in an official disaster area—if so resources will be available to you from government authorities and public services and possible financial assistance
  • Secure the property—cover broken windows with boards, if the roof’s damaged cover it with a tarp. Take photographs for the insurance company to show you protected your home against further damage
  • If your house is habitable—take precautions to keep yourself and your family safe from injury. Use flashlights to move around dark rooms, for example
  • Keep small children, elderly and pets away from flooded property—until a full cleanup is completed
  • Remove water —use a sump pump and a wet vac. Open doors and windows so fresh air can come in as long as it doesn’t let in more water

  • Throw away any food that came in contact with flood water—use boiled water and bottled water until the tap water is declared safe
  • Discarded items that can’t be saved—such as personal belongings, books, non-washable toys, mattresses, etcetera. Large pieces of furniture saturated with water can’t be dried effectively, and should be discarded
  • Sort the things you can disinfect—mold can grow in 24 to 48 hours, items wet less than 48 hours may be salvageable. Rugs, maybe dried, then professionally cleaned

  • Clean all hard surfaces—use hot water and strong non-ammonia detergent or pine oil cleaner with a 10% bleach solution. Test it first on a small area of what you’re cleaning to insure it doesn’t cause staining or fading
  • Once cleaned the house should be dried— completely using dehumidifiers and fans
  • Clean out contaminated building material—replace it if necessary

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