Before you ever suffer from flood damage, you need to be sure you’re prepared with the proper insurance. The worst flood damages usually occur because of extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes. And those floods are not covered by regular homeowner’s insurance. You need a special flood insurance policy.
If you want flood damage restoration you can take care of the damage yourself or hire a restoration service to do the work for you. If the flood was a result of some thunderstorm or hurricane your insurance will only pay for it if you have the special flood insurance coverage, which is sold separately from a homeowners insurance policy.
Flood Damage Restoration
When cleaning up water, the main thing you have to worry about is mold and mildew growth after all of the water is sucked out. Once you get all the water out you can prevent mold and mildew from growing by drying out your house as much as possible.
This would include cranking up the air conditioning, opening up the doors and windows, and using a dehumidifier. If some water got on your drywall, you may very well have to replace this drywall so that it doesn’t start growing behind it.
Types of Flood Damage
Flood restoration comes from two sources: internal and external. Internal damage may come from a broken water pipe or a malfunctioning dishwasher or washing machine.
This type of damage is usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance as long as it isn’t the result of your neglect (as in failing to repair a small leak before it becomes a big one). External flooding is usually the result of severe weather, such as a hurricane.
Steps in Cleaning Water Damage
No matter which type of water damage has occurred, your first steps are the same. Try to determine the scope and, if an internal leak, the source of the damage.
- Do whatever you can to stop further damage (like shutting off the water main if the problem is a broken water pipe).
- If the flooding was severe, make sure the house is structurally sound before entering. Be cautious about electricity and electrical appliances when standing on wet floors, especially if the floor is concrete.
- If power is off, you may want to have an electrician check to make sure it’s safe to turn back on.
- Call to report the problem to your insurance agent. Be sure to clarify the claims procedure, and whether or not it’s okay to dispose of damaged items.
- If the problem is due to the internal type of flooding, call a plumber or service technician to make necessary repairs.
- It’s best to wear boots and rubber gloves to minimize the danger of infection from contaminants in the water.
- Before moving or cleaning anything, take pictures of the damage.
- If some furniture or personal property is unharmed, move it to another room.
- Standing water will breed mold within 48 hours, so you need to remove excess water as soon as possible.
- A wet and dry vacuum can help remove water on floors, while you can use dry towels to remove excess water from surfaces.
- Opening windows and using an air conditioner or fan can speed the drying process.
Take up area rugs and hang them to dry. You will need to take down wall art if walls are damaged, and remove cushions from the furniture. Set cushions upright in a warm, dry area. If furniture has wooden legs, wetness may cause carpet stains. To prevent stains, use plastic or foil “coasters” to protect the carpet.
Flood Damage Recovery Process By Yourself
Flood damage restoration costs can be very high, but they still are much cheaper than replacing your items. When you have a flood, you will need to act quickly to minimize the damage to your belongings and home or business.
To begin the process for your flood recovery:
- Contact your insurance agent. They will help to get the ball rolling. They may have a preapproved flood cleanup crew that you will need to use.
- Contact a licensed flood damage restoration expert. Make sure they can come to you quickly to begin the water clean-up. Mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours.
- Remove all of your flood-damaged possessions outside or to the garage but don’t get rid of them until an insurance adjustor can verify your losses for your insurance claim. Rescue your water-damaged photographs, books, videos, and important documents. Removing all wet items from the area will also help quicken the drying process since they will add a lot of moisture to the air.
- Document the damage in each spot. Write down what you see and take photographs. This will help with your insurance claim.
- Use a sump pump and/or wet vacuum to remove any pooled water. Throw out any rotten food.
- Dispose of wet carpet padding, this is usually unsalvageable. Clean and dry carpet, bedding, clothing, and furniture.
- Dry legs of furniture with a clean white cloth. Place them on saucers or wood blocks to keep off the wet surface.
- Pull back wet carpet and padding from the walls and baseboards to help keep the walls dry.
- Open windows for cross ventilation.
Causes of Devastating Property Damage
Floods have the potential to cause devastating property damage. There are many reasons of concern with the rising floodwaters as it can lead to major damages like the damaged roof, blown-out windows, destroyed furniture, and more.
Floods can create havoc on the house’s structure and the health of the inner environment as it contaminates common household items. This water has a high level of contamination as it carries large deposits of mud, grime, and bacteria from fecal materials from overflowing sewage systems and also harmful chemicals from agricultural runoff and industrial areas.
Due to all these factors, flood damage cleanup should be performed immediately to restore health and hygiene.
Wetness and Dampness after Flood
Wetness and dampness are everywhere once you have had floodwaters in your home. The most important part of flood damage restoration cleanup is sewage damage cleanup. Several diseases are caused by it and it also poses environmental risks.
Hence the process of cleaning should be immediate and timely. It is best to approach a professional water damage restoration company as they have the right tools, chemicals, know-how, and equipment to perform the cleanup process. In all cases, this process is carried out in two parts of physical cleanup and chemical disinfection.
Few factors greatly affect the cleaning process like duration of contamination, type of materials contaminated, extent of damage, and how much ventilation is available. The sewage damage cleanup should be done taking into consideration all the minute details.
Things to do After Flood Damage
After flooding when there is moisture everywhere it becomes a perfect enticement for molds to breed. Withstanding water you cannot even use electric power to dry or vacuum the surface.
It is best to use portable generators to pump water out of the property. To prevent mold growth it is better to clean and dry out water-damaged areas within a day or two. Mold can grow on any surface including walls, floors, paper, leather, clothing, etc. Several molds and mildew removal products are available in the market.
You can use white vinegar, spray it on the affected area, let it be there for 10 minutes, and then scrub off with a scrubber or a piece of cloth. You can also mix hydrogen peroxide in water and wipe it on the affected area. Tree tea oil when mixed with water is also very effective.