We recently had some major flooding. Being monsoon season, this is not really all that surprising, and we’ve got some major experience dealing with this over the years. If you’re visiting our area, or going somewhere that floods a lot, read on.
Flooding of your home is one of the most frustrating events that a home owner can deal with. First, the initial flooding of your home can be devastating because of the damage it causes, and two, not knowing what actions or steps to take after it has happened and where to begin. Whether the flooding is caused by falling water, ground water, or even a malfunction of your homes water system there will be some actions and practices you will need to take and it would be best to take them within 24 hours from when the flooding has occurred. This will give you the best outcome for your insurance company and to also ensure the safety of your home and your family.
You will need to try and avoid any additional risks that can occur. If the flooding that happened was a serious matter enough for you to have to leave your home, then you will need to be safe when you are returning to it. When you arrive you will need to check for any loosened or cracked foundation elements, cracks or holes upon entering the home, and any visible structural damage such as warping and then if you suspect any electric, gas, water, and sewer line damages you will then need to contact the utilities company. Turn off all sources in your home such as water and electric, and it is important to remember to have a reliable and working flashlight for the home. Even if your power is out in the home, make sure to turn off the fuse box in case it happens to come back on and you do not want to have it mix with the water and cause electrocution.
This NJ water restoration company recommends that you take pictures, and take a lot of pictures. It is prudent to take pictures or videos for your insurer before you remove any of the water or make any repairs to your home. You could decrease the value of your coverage if you remove anything or make any repairs before you get photographic evidence. Many suggest that you get digital footage or pictures because they can be stored easier and also copied easier.
Protecting your health is a number one necessity. If you enter your home and all of the water looks clear that does not mean it is not contaminated water whether by sewage or household chemicals. Hip to waist high water proof boots or wearing waders is a highly recommended way to protect yourself. To avoid contaminants while removing your damaged possessions, always remember to protect yourself by wearing rubber gloves, and always throw out any food that you believe came within the flood waters contact.
Contacting your insurance company immediately after the flooding happens is a key point in what to do right after a flood takes place in your home. It is prudent to always keep your insurance company and the local agent’s phone number in a safe and easy place to find. Advise your insurer right away about the damage that has occurred and also the repairs you plan to make to your home, and always follow your insurance companies instructions about when and how to go about making these repairs. Always document any the conversations that take place and the damage throughout every single stage of the process.
After you make sure that you are not in a disaster area and you get the ok from your insurer that you are able to remove the water in your home, you will want to head out to one of your hardware or home supply stores and purchase a sump pump, and also a wet vac. Try not to cause any harm from yourself while removing the water since water is very heavy, especially if you are carrying it all out in buckets. Amongst this damage you will need to check for any mold damage since mold can start to accumulate between 24 to 48 hours of the flooding, so you will need to remove any carpeting or bedding as soon as possible. Always notify your insurance company and always photograph anything before you remove these items from your home.
The last thing to do as the homeowner, the responsibility lies with you to secure your property so that there is no further additional damage that may occur. Secure a tarp if your roof has been damaged and board up any broken windows. Again, take the necessary photographs for your insurance company so that they are aware of the protection precautions that you have made. If you are able to reside in the house, make sure to have working flashlights to safely move about the house, and make sure that you take any other necessary precautions to protect you and your family.
These are the specific things that you will need to do as a homeowner who has had flooding in their home to ensure that you get through this process as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible. Flooding is frustrating and can be traumatizing if you are to lose any valuable during it, but following these steps will help to ensure that the process is completely as painlessly as possible and that the important thing is for you and your family to be safe.