When a natural disaster like a hurricane or a flood strikes, you will generally be left having to pick up the pieces and attempt to put your life back together. Unfortunately, this isn’t always as simple as it may sound since there is a high chance that all that standing water will have made your home almost unlivable. As a homeowner, a flood can truly be devastating and has the potential to turn your life upside down. For this reason, we’ll now look at some of the steps you can take to clean up after a flood to help prevent flooding from becoming an even more serious problem.
Steps to Take Immediately Following a Flood. House floods can be a major issue that have the potential to almost completely ruin your home and furnishings, and it is essential that you take action as soon as possible to deal with the flood in order to minimize the amount of damage and hopefully help simplify the clean-up and repair process. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible with hurricane flooding. After a hurricane, it could potentially be days or weeks before you can safely get back into your home to assess the damage.
Generally speaking, things will be much easier if you can get back into the property and start cleaning up within 24 to 48 hours after the flood starts. Otherwise, you will likely find yourself facing major problems with mold in addition to all of the water damage. Either way, the very first step to recovering from a house flood is to start removing all of the excess and standing water.
Once the water is finally gone, you will need to try to dry out the home as well as possible. This means using fans to dry the floors and walls and also opening the windows to ensure that humidity and excess moisture doesn’t remain a problem. Running your air conditioner or using a dehumidifier can also be a huge help when trying to dry things out.
If you are able to fully dry the home out within 48 hours of the flood, you might be lucky enough to be able to salvage some of your things. However, things become much more difficult after the first 48 hours have passed, in which case, you will probably need to throw most things out due to mold. Therefore, it is essential that you take immediate action if possible.
Contacting Your Insurance Company. If you have flood insurance or your homeowner’s insurance covers flood damage, you will also want to contact your insurance company immediately. The insurance company will then send out someone to assess the damage and also to determine whether or not the flood is covered under your policy. If you are fortunate enough that your insurance will cover the damage, contacting the insurance company as soon as possible should speed up the repair process.
Clean-Up and Repairs. Once the building is properly dried out and you’ve contacted your insurance company, the next step is to start cleaning everything up. Any items that weren’t properly dried out or remained wet for more than 48 hours should be thrown away in order to prevent mold growth. In some cases, you may need to gut the house, as insulation, drywall, tiles, flooring and other building materials all create the ideal conditions for mold to start growing. Your furniture may also need to be dried out.
Once you’ve eliminated all the contaminated and wet items, you will finally be ready to begin the repair process. Depending on the extent of the damage, this could take anywhere from a few days to a few months. If your insurance does cover the damage, you might want to wait until the insurance has paid out before beginning the repairs. Otherwise, if the damage isn’t covered, you will obviously need to pay everything out of pocket. For this reason, it is essential that anyone who lives in an area prone to flooding or hurricanes has the proper insurance.
Unfortunately, floods can occur at any time. While hurricanes and other major storms are the most common cause of major, widespread flooding, floods can also occur due to a broken water line, a sewage back-up, malfunctioning sump pump, etc. For this reason, it is essential that you are prepared before a flood occurs and know exactly what to do afterwards in order to minimize the damage.