Whether you’ve already experienced flooding or want to be prepared in case it happens later on, knowing what to do can help reduce the potential damage to your home. Even what appears to be minor water damage can be costly to repair, and may indicate more significant underlying problems.
Turn off electricity
Make sure the power is turned off before going into a home with flood damage, or you can risk electrocution. If you are unable to turn off the electricity without going through areas affected by the flooding, you may want to contact an electrician to do it for you.
Wear protective gear
Before entering any areas with flood damage, put on protective clothing like rubber boots and gloves to protect yourself from possible contaminated water. The source of the flooding will help give you an idea of how contaminated the water likely is.
- “Clean” water, which originates from sources like water supply lines and melting snow poses a fairly low health risk.
- Gray water is slightly contaminated and can pose a health risk to be around. This includes dishwasher or washing machine overflow and toilet bowl water.
- Black water includes sources like sewage or sea and river water. Black water is considered “grossly contaminated” and you should avoid coming into contact with it, and leave it to a professional restoration service to handle the flooding aftermath.
Contact your insurance company
An insurance adjuster will come out to evaluate the flood damage and determine whether and how much of it is covered by your plan. Not all home insurance plans cover water damage from flooding; this will depend on your insurance policies, as well as what caused the flooding. Before the adjuster comes, you can prepare by taking photos of areas with flood damage and making a list of the values of as many belongings as you can think of.
Contact a restoration service
Working quickly is very important when it comes to flooding cleanup. Irreparable damage can set in within the first twenty-four hours, and after the first day, the likelihood of mold growing increases considerably. An experienced restoration company will be able to deal with the water damage, handle any safety hazards, and help you get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
Watch out for mold
If mold or mildew has already begun to grow, be very careful – you may accidentally spread spores throughout your home while cleaning up the flood damage. Not all mold is toxic to humans, but all mold is damaging to whatever it has infested, so it’s important to reduce the risk of letting it grow as much as you can. A good way to do this is by disinfecting items and surfaces with a bleach solution while you’re cleaning up the water damage. If you do see mold, it’s a good idea to contact a restoration company that has experience with eliminating mold, as it can be very difficult to completely eliminate on your own.
Start repairing the water damage
Once it is safe enough to do so, begin cleaning up the flood damage as quickly as possible.
- Remove as much excess water as possible. Use towels, a mop, or a bucket if you need to. Renting a wet/dry vacuum may be helpful if there are still large quantities.
- Once any standing water from the flooding is gone, you’ll want to remove as much moisture as you can. Use fans or a dehumidifier to ventilate and dry the area. If you have central air conditioning and are able to have your electricity on, run it to help circulate the air.
- Dispose of any damaged porous materials that are beyond repair. This can include carpet, insulation, fabric, unsealed cement, drywall, and wood. You may be able to salvage some things if the water damage hasn’t set in too much, or parts of them stayed dry.
If you’ve experienced flood damage or any type of water damage, contact Sole Source Restoration (401) 712-2700. Our 24/7 emergency response team is ready to help at a moment’s notice.