Globally, floods do over $40 million in damages every year. While you won’t have to shell out as much money for flooding on your property, it can certainly add up.
The key to keeping your costs to a minimum is taking immediate and effective action.
Don’t know where to start? Here are eight steps you need to take after a house flood so you can avoid needing costly mold remediation.
1. Turn off the Power
No matter how big the flood was, you should always turn off the power. As you may already know, water is a conductor of electricity and could do immense harm to you and your property if you let the two mix.
Don’t just head straight for the fuse box though. Make sure you put on some rubber boots and gloves first. Then, you can grab a flashlight and go turn off the electricity.
In addition to the mains, you should also turn off all fuse connections individually. This might take more work, but it’ll decrease safety hazards.
2. Turn off the Water
Even if the flooding wasn’t due to a burst pipe or anything like that, you should turn off the water as well. That way, if anything does happen to your pipes, they won’t do additional water damage to your home.
After you’ve turned off the power, go around your house, making sure to shut off all water sources. That way, you can have peace of mind knowing you’re doing everything you can to prevent water damage from becoming worse.
3. Take Pictures of Everything
Before you get to work on cleaning everything up, take a quick moment to take pictures of everything. It may even help to take some videos. Either can be easily done with most modern smartphones.
All these pictures will help immensely when you’re making your insurance claim. They’re fantastic proof of the damage and will aid in getting you the maximum coverage possible.
4. Give Your Insurance Company a Call
On that note, you need to inform your insurance company that there’s been flooding in your home. It may be a good idea to have this information in a handy place so you’re not scrambling for it while in the midst of an emergency.
You’ll need to speak with your insurance agent to figure out if you can proceed with immediate repairs. They’ll assess the situation over the phone and either give you a thumbs up or down.
If you’re given the go-ahead, then make sure you properly document everything that’s going on, including all communications and repairs as you go along.
5. Perform Water Removal
When your insurance agent says it’s ok to do so, you’ll need to do immediate water removal, especially for water in the basement. The easiest way to do this is to rent a sump pump and a wet vac.
While you’re getting all the water out of your property, make sure to leave your windows and doors wide open so you can get some fresh air in. This can help the water evaporate and make conditions less favorable for mold to grow.
You’ll also want to put dehumidifiers all around your home so you get further water removal.
6. Sort Through Your Belongings
Once you’ve removed all the water you can from your property, it’s time to sort through your belongings. You’ll have to make some calls on whether or not it’s worth it to salvage things or if they’re even salvageable.
For example, you may have a box full of random magazines from the 2000s. This is probably not worth saving.
On the other hand, if you have a box full of vintage books, then that’ll probably be worth the money and effort to restore.
Take this time to sort things into different piles and then throw away things that aren’t worth saving or are so damaged, you can’t do anything with them.
7. Clean and Sanitize Everything
With the pile of things you’ve saved, you’ll need to clean, sanitize, and dry them. For example, with books, you’ll want to wipe down the jackets and covers, then spread the pages out as much as possible so they can dry.
With furniture and other bigger items, you might have to call in professionals who have the training and equipment to really clean and sanitize these things.
In addition, make a solution that’s 10% bleach and wipe down all the surfaces you can. This will help prevent any mold spores from exploding in growth.
If the flooding’s really bad and it’s reached your refrigerator, you’ll want to throw away anything that’s been touched by the floodwater. You’ll also want to boil water before use for a while after the flood.
8. Start on Repairs If Possible
Last, but not least, you should start on repairs if your insurance agency told you it was ok to do so. For instance, you may have broken windows, so you need to board them up to prevent more water from getting in.
It’s a good idea to call in professionals as they’ll be able to get the job done quickly and effectively.
Act Quickly to Avoid Needing Mold Remediation
If you’ve had a house flood, then it’s crucial that you act quickly and put our tips to use. The longer your home and belongings have soaked in the dirty flood water, the higher the chance of things getting ruined.
Of course, in the worst-case scenario, things may be beyond salvaging. In that case, you may need to seek out a mold remediation expert to sort out your property.
Again, the key is quick action. So once you’ve been through a flood, don’t delay in taking the right steps to preserve both your home and your treasured items.
If this article on what to do after a house flood was useful to you, then make sure you read our other blog posts too!