Whether a flood is caused by falling rainwater, groundwater, or from within your home, it will cause serious damage. The steps you take within 24 hours of a flood will determine how much damage the water actually will do. Here are the steps you need to take as quickly as possible after a flood.
Avoid further risks
If your home is flooded, forcing you to leave, then you should be extra cautious when you return. Before entering your home, check for warping, cracked foundation, or any other crakes or holes to the outside of your home. These are signs of structural issues. If you believe there are problems with any of your utilities, then you should call the company that maintains them to get them evaluated immediately.
Also, never enter the standing water in your home as it could have an electric line in it that could seriously hurt you. Even if the power is off in your home, go to the fuse box and turn off the main and all other breakers. This will protect you in case the power comes back on without warning.
Before you or a professional water damage company starts any repairs to the damage, you should go through the home and take pictures of anything and everything that was or could be damaged by the water. This is important as it provides proof of the damage to your insurance company. If you take pictures after you start cleaning up the damage, they can decrease the amount of money you receive.
Be very careful when you are in a flooded home as the water is often contaminated with sewage and/or chemicals. Even if it looks clear, you should still wear waders. We also recommend wearing gloves when touching anything that has been in contact with the water. Never keep food that has been in a flood. And, if the flooding is widespread, you should boil your water until the local authorities determined that it is safe.
Call the insurance company
You should notify your insurance company about any flooding as soon as possible to start the claims process. Keep in mind that many home insurance policies don’t include flood insurance. If the flooding is caused by a pipe bursting, it is likely that it will be covered. But, if it is from the outside then to be covered it would require a separate flood policy. Again, take pictures of the damage and the source of the damage if you can. Follow the insurance companies' directions and deal with any required paperwork immediately. If you aren’t sure if your insurance covers flooding, then you should schedule a time to talk to your insurance agent.
Call the professional
Once you have called the insurance company and determined if it will be covered, you should then call a professional water removal company. We have the equipment, and training to safely remove the water and any other liquids, and repair the damage back to normal. Unless the damage is minor, you should always call a professional. One of the big reasons to do this is to prevent mold from growing. When water damage that isn’t properly dealt with it can easily turn into mold. Don’t wait long to call after a flood since the longer the water is in your home the more damage it will do.