7 Steps To Take After Your Home Gets Flooded
Flooding can have many causes from bad weather to plumbing issues. Once you’ve stopped the flooding (or let it run its course, depending on the situation), you’ll need to know exactly which steps to take next. Below are 7 steps worth taking to ensure a smooth and safe recovery.
Turn off electricity
During a flood, water in your home can become electrified, which could result in a fatal shock if you step in it. This is why it’s so important to turn off electricity at the mains as soon as you can during a flood. Avoid walking through water to turn off the electricity – the water could already have electricity running through it.
Contact utility providers
It’s a good idea to contact utility providers as soon as possible during a flood. Your gas, water and electricity supply may be damaged and will need to be inspected before using it again. Your utilities providers will be able to send out an inspector to safely check the state of your utilities.
Contact your insurer
If you’re covered by home insurance, make sure to contact your insurer within the first 48 hours. You don’t have to make a claim there and then, but it is important to notify them within 48 hours if you hope to make a claim. Take photos of the damage if you can, as this may help to support your claim. When making a claim, you could consider hiring a public adjuster to help with the process – this can increase the likelihood of you getting the compensation you deserve. If you don’t have home insurance, be wary that there may be other forms of financial support that you can look into such as charity support, loans and local grants.
Open all windows
Opening all windows will help ventilate your home and help it to dry. This can reduce the extent of water damage and may help to reduce mold growth. If your home is severely flooded and you cannot stay there, you may want to keep windows closed to ensure that your home is secure while vacant (sadly, opportunistic burglars are known to rob vacant homes after natural disasters)
Clean up your home
When cleaning up your home after a flood, make sure to wear protective equipment including a mask and eye protection (especially if there is a lot of mold). Start by pumping any excess water out of your home (there are specialist vacuum cleaners that you can buy for this). Then go about getting rid of any debris and objects that are damaged. There are flood restoration companies that may be able to help you with this.
Repair any damage
A severe flood may have caused damage to floors, walls, electrics and plumbing. This will all need to be repaired to ensure that your home is safe to live in. It’s worth getting your home surveyed and paying professionals to handle any repairs including removing any serious mold. Home insurance compensation will hopefully help to pay for this.
Prepare against future floods
It’s important that you take measures to prevent any future floods. If flooding was the result of bad weather, consider investing in floodproofing measures such as sealing all cracks and gaps, installing flood doors, setting up flood barriers, moving sockets up walls or replacing all carpets with waterproof options like concrete or treated timber. If a plumbing issue caused the flood, make sure that the plumbing issue is dealt with and consider inspecting your home for any other plumbing weaknesses.