TIPS TO HELP WITH FLOOD DAMAGE RESTORATION

According to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an estimated 13 million Americans live in flood-prone areas, but experts believe it could be three times that.

If you live in a place identified as a flood zone, seeing your home submerged after a heavy storm is always a possibility. Taking steps to protect your home from flooding would be a good idea. So is knowing what to do when your property gets hit by a flood and sustains damage.

Flood damage, in all honesty, is not the easiest thing to deal with after a storm. If a few inches of water in your home can already cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage, imagine what knee- or even waist-deep flood waters can do. The cleanup task is going to be gargantuan, and your storm damage repair efforts will cost you a lot.

Still, your home is going to need flood damage restoration. Here are some tips that will help you in that regard.

CALL YOUR INSURER

If you have flood insurance, then the first thing you should do is call your insurance provider. Ask for directions on how to file a claim so you’ll have money to pay for much-needed flood damage repairs.

Your insurer will soon send an insurance adjuster over to assess the damage caused by the flood, so make sure everything is untouched. Take lots of pictures and videos, as documentation is critical when filing an insurance claim.

SAFETY FIRST

Documenting the damage means you’re going to enter your flooded property. Before you do so, make sure you’re wearing the right personal protective equipment or PPE.

Keep in mind that flood water could contain contaminants such as Salmonella and E. Coli. The single most important PPE you need to wear are waterproof boots, preferably with an insole and a steel toe. Latex or rubber gloves and safety goggles are also a must.

You also need to make sure the power to your home has been cut off to avoid electrocution.

CHECK IF YOUR HOME IS IN A DISASTER AREA

Your home may be located in a place identified by authorities as a disaster area. Find out if it is so you can get access to financial assistance and other resources that the government may provide.

GET YOUR BELONGINGS OUT OF THE HOUSE

Take all the furniture, appliances, carpets, and any of your belongings hit by the flood out of the house. Check which ones can be saved and which ones are damaged beyond repair. Any foodstuff, from canned goods to fresh produce, that you find floating in the floodwater must be disposed of immediately. Don’t even think about consuming them.

REMOVE THE WATER

Since water damage can only get worse if you leave the floodwater be, you must do whatever you can to remove all the water as soon as possible. Use any means necessary, including dippers, buckets, mops, and pumps to get all that water out of your home. If your entire family is helping out, make sure everyone wears safety gear, too.

However, you have to wait for your insurance company to greenlight any effort on your part to remove the water. Proceed only once you get that go-signal to ensure that your insurance claim won’t run into any issues.

DRY YOUR HOME

With most of the water gone, the next step would be to dry all affected areas. You can use mops, rags, and sponges for the task. To speed up the drying process, bring in some industrial fans and turn them all on at full blast. It would be best if you also opened all windows and doors to let in the sunshine.

Your home also needs to be completely dry to reduce the risk of mold buildup.

CALL WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION SPECIALISTS

The next step is repairing all the water damage and restoring your home. You can take on the job yourself, or you can put that flood insurance money to good use by contacting a water damage restoration company.

With their training, experience, and equipment, water damage restoration professionals can deal with any kind of damage caused by a flood. You’ve already done the preliminary cleanup to mitigate the water damage; let water damage restoration specialists do it professionally and finish the job. By the time they’re done, your home will look just like it did before the flood.

According to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an estimated 13 million Americans live in flood-prone areas, but experts believe it could be three times that.

If you live in a place identified as a flood zone, seeing your home submerged after a heavy storm is always a possibility. Taking steps to protect your home from flooding would be a good idea. So is knowing what to do when your property gets hit by a flood and sustains damage.

Flood damage, in all honesty, is not the easiest thing to deal with after a storm. If a few inches of water in your home can already cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage, imagine what knee- or even waist-deep flood waters can do. The cleanup task is going to be gargantuan, and your storm damage repair efforts will cost you a lot.

Still, your home is going to need flood damage restoration. Here are some tips that will help you in that regard.

CALL YOUR INSURER

If you have flood insurance, then the first thing you should do is call your insurance provider. Ask for directions on how to file a claim so you’ll have money to pay for much-needed flood damage repairs.

Your insurer will soon send an insurance adjuster over to assess the damage caused by the flood, so make sure everything is untouched. Take lots of pictures and videos, as documentation is critical when filing an insurance claim.

SAFETY FIRST

Documenting the damage means you’re going to enter your flooded property. Before you do so, make sure you’re wearing the right personal protective equipment or PPE.

Keep in mind that flood water could contain contaminants such as Salmonella and E. Coli. The single most important PPE you need to wear are waterproof boots, preferably with an insole and a steel toe. Latex or rubber gloves and safety goggles are also a must.

You also need to make sure the power to your home has been cut off to avoid electrocution.

CHECK IF YOUR HOME IS IN A DISASTER AREA

Your home may be located in a place identified by authorities as a disaster area. Find out if it is so you can get access to financial assistance and other resources that the government may provide.

GET YOUR BELONGINGS OUT OF THE HOUSE

Take all the furniture, appliances, carpets, and any of your belongings hit by the flood out of the house. Check which ones can be saved and which ones are damaged beyond repair. Any foodstuff, from canned goods to fresh produce, that you find floating in the floodwater must be disposed of immediately. Don’t even think about consuming them.

REMOVE THE WATER

Since water damage can only get worse if you leave the floodwater be, you must do whatever you can to remove all the water as soon as possible. Use any means necessary, including dippers, buckets, mops, and pumps to get all that water out of your home. If your entire family is helping out, make sure everyone wears safety gear, too.

However, you have to wait for your insurance company to greenlight any effort on your part to remove the water. Proceed only once you get that go-signal to ensure that your insurance claim won’t run into any issues.

DRY YOUR HOME

With most of the water gone, the next step would be to dry all affected areas. You can use mops, rags, and sponges for the task. To speed up the drying process, bring in some industrial fans and turn them all on at full blast. It would be best if you also opened all windows and doors to let in the sunshine.

Your home also needs to be completely dry to reduce the risk of mold buildup.

CALL WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION SPECIALISTS

The next step is repairing all the water damage and restoring your home. You can take on the job yourself, or you can put that flood insurance money to good use by contacting a water damage restoration company.

With their training, experience, and equipment, water damage restoration professionals can deal with any kind of damage caused by a flood. You’ve already done the preliminary cleanup to mitigate the water damage; let water damage restoration specialists do it professionally and finish the job. By the time they’re done, your home will look just like it did before the flood.

Guest Contributor: Rachel Anderson

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