Floods can be devastating for a home and for an entire neighborhood. Many regions are susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms. Your home may be in a high-risk area due to elevation or proximity to a body of water. It’s always best to have a plan for how to care for your home after a flood.
Focus on Safety
Before anything else, make sure you and your family are safe. After a flood, there are several potential sources of danger.
- Be careful when entering a flooded house. Structural damage can cause the collapse of walls, floors or the roof.
- Turn off the main water supply.
- Turn off the main breaker and fuses in your fuse box. A flood will usually cause a power outage and you want to avoid dangers such as electrical fires and electrocution when the power is turned on again.
- Don’t drink or shower with the water as flooded water may be contaminated with mold, bacteria or toxic chemicals. You should also protect yourself by wearing rubber boots and gloves when going through flooded areas.
Who to Call
Depending on the circumstances, you’ll need to make several calls.
- Plumber. If water is still entering the house due to a leak or burst pipe, your first call should be to a plumber.
- Insurance company. You’ll need to call your insurer as soon as possible to have someone assess the damage. Your agent will also give you instructions about documenting any losses and how to proceed with the cleanup.
- Landlord. If you’re renting, call your landlord in case they aren’t aware of the damage.
- Electrician. Call an electrician to inspect everything to make sure it’s safe to restore power.
Cleanup and Repairs
Once you’ve made sure everyone is safe and you’ve called your insurance company, you can begin the cleanup process.
- Remove water. Depending on how much water is present, you can use mops, buckets, or a wet vac. If there’s a large amount of water, renting or buying a sump pump may be more efficient.
- Once it’s safe to use electricity, use large fans, heat, dehumidifiers or air conditioning to dry out your home. If it’s dry outside, open the windows.
- Inspect your entire home for damage. Remove any items that can be repaired. If you have valuables that are covered by insurance, be sure to photograph any damage. Use a moisture meter to look for water damage that may not be visible. This can lead to mold and structural problems if not addressed.
- Discard any food or beverages in flooded areas, as it could be contaminated.
While it’s crucial to know how to care for your home after a flood, it’s equally important to make preparations ahead of time.
- Make sure your insurance covers flood damage.
- When traveling, keep valuables in a safe place. Consider shutting off the water supply if you’ll be away for a long time.
- Keep important documents in a waterproof case.
- If you’re home when a flood is predicted, stay tuned to news and any evacuation orders.
- If you live in an area prone to flooding, prepare an emergency kit with extra food, bottled war, flashlights, safety gloves, and other essential items.
Hopefully, your home will never be damaged by a flood. However, it’s always best to be prepared and have a plan so you know what to do if it does happen. To learn more about our homes and personal services, contact Covenant Homes today.