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7 Things to Do Right Away After a Flood

If you’re a homeowner and a flood has damaged your home, it can seem overwhelming. It’s essential to prioritize your safety (and your family’s safety) first, but also to take stock of the situation as soon as you can. Get a camera and record pictures of the damage, as the insurance will request them. After documenting your water damage, you’ll want to dry out your home for 24 to 48 hours. This could prevent pest infestation.

If you have water damage to your home from rain flooding, your homeowner’s insurance may still cover the water damage repairs. A flash flood might also damage your home. Your home could sustain heavy flash flood damage. Check with your insurance company for details of your coverage eligibility and limits.

A disaster area

Once you call your insurance company, they can send an inspector to your home. Some insurance companies may place a water damage repair cost calculator on their websites for a quick idea, but an in-person visit will be your best source for a water damage estimate. If your home’s neighborhood has been declared a disaster area, you may be able to get additional help from FEMA or rescue organizations like the Red Cross.

Foundation repairs

If you own a home with a basement, the sad reality if you will probably have a flood at some point while you live there. It has been estimated that about 98% of all homes with basements will suffer some water damage at some point. In the United States, flooding is the number one disaster in homes. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) estimates at least $3 billion in claims for flood damage are filed every year. Even if you have had a company experienced in waterproofing basement, you may still have a flood. If that happens these are the things you need to do right away,

What to Do If Your Basement Floods:

  1. Put your safety first. Think about your safety when you go into the flooded area. Before you enter any area that has been flooded, make sure power to the home has been shut off. This may sound like its obvious but every year people are hurt by not checking to make sure all power to the home is off when they enter a building after a flood. If the power has been turned off by the power company, make sure you also shut everything off at the breaker. This prevents problems when the power company restores power to your areas.
  2. Take photos of the damage. When you go into your home and before you have begun to have any repairs done on repairing cracks in foundation walls or any kinds of repairs, you have to document the damage with photos. This should be done before and then again immediately after you dry out the areas impacted by the flood.
  3. Check for structural problems with your foundation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommend that homeowners who have had a flood inspect the foundation for any cracks or obvious damage. If you suspect there are any problems with the sewer lines, you should contact your utility company.
  4. Dry out your home. You need to get as much water out as soon as you can. The ideal thing to do is clean out the water within 24 to 28 hours after your home floods. This is especially crucial to prevent mold from growing in your home. You will have to get rid of any carpets, furniture and bedding that is damaged in a flood. You might be able to salvage some but a lot will have to be thrown away. If you have had a service handle waterproofing basement, you may have less water than if you did not have that done.
  5. Inform your insurance carrier. This should happen as soon as possible. Many homeowner’s policies do not include floor insurance so if you are not sure about your coverage, you need to talk to your insurance company. If you are reading this and have not had a flood, you should check your policy right away. You do not have to live hear the water to have a flood. Basement cracks and leaks can lead to serious flooding in homes that are in landlocked states. They may give you a cheaper policy if you have done a waterproofing basement treatment.
  6. Are you in a disaster area? If your flood has been due to a natural disaster, you may be eligible for special funding to repair your home. Your insurance company can tell you if you qualify for any special funding for fixing the damage to your home.
  7. Have your home tested for mold. Mold is very dangerous. After your flood water has been cleaned up and as you deal with all of the repairs your home needs, make it a point to have your home tested for mold. You can then have a service come in and get rid of it before it makes anyone in your family sick.

There are some things you can do to protect your home from flooding. There are water proofing solutions for your home that include products and services for waterproofing basement. You should walk around your home periodically and check your foundation for signs of damage or cracks. Make sure you take care of any foundation repairs and foundation sealing if you can.


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