It's a fact of life that floods sometimes happen. Whether you are dealing with the aftermath of a weather emergency or a broken pipe, the effects are very much the same. Ruined furniture and heirlooms are emotionally devastating, yet your home's safety and value are also at risk of being damaged from a flood. During the next 24-hours, the steps you take are critical for minimizing the damage caused by flooding, so use this action plan to get started on cleaning up the right way.
Eliminate Safety Risks
Depending upon the cause and location of your flooding, other dangers to your safety may exist. If weather caused the emergency, check your home's structure for other damage such as unsupported beams and broken glass before entering your property. It is also important to shut off the power to areas of your home that are affected by flooding since water and electricity are a dangerous combination.
Document the Damage
This is one time when you will realize that your property or renter's insurance is important. Make sure to photograph all damage before you arrange for cleanup. Use a digital camera or smartphone if possible to ease the process of uploading your photos since many insurance companies prefer to receive them electronically. While you want to get the water cleaned up as soon as possible, this step ensures that you can prove what damage has been sustained along with potential costs for repairs.
Make a Plan for Cleanup
It is important to understand that water damage occurs immediately and begins to progress over the next hours and days. For example, mold can develop as fast as the first or second day, and much of the damage can spread to other areas of your home if the cleanup is not begun right away. Start by making sure that water cannot leak to dry areas of your house. If necessary, use towels or plastic sheeting to block off what you can. Then, arrange for water damage restoration services that handle the entire process from removing the water to mold remediation. This way, you can know that it will be handled properly, and even hidden water damage will be repaired.
Discovering a water emergency in your home is likely to induce a flood of tears. Yet, your actions influence the outcome of this challenging day. By understanding what to do before a major catastrophe happens and who to call when it does, you can minimize the damage to your property caused by flooding.