Floods can be an extremely terrifying experience, especially for those who have never experienced them before. If you live in Florida, there is a large risk of flooding because it is so coastal. For example, 93% of buildings in Miami Beach are in the FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area.
Knowing the flood risks of where you live is the first important step to being prepared for a potential flood, but what do you do after the flood has taken place? Read on for some helpful tips should you ever have to deal with a flood.
Tips for Dealing with a Flood
There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with a flood, both before and after. Keep these in mind so that the restoration process can be easier for you and you can return home more quickly and with less stress
One of the simplest ways to minimize the risk of flooding is to take preventative measures. One of the best ways to do so is to turn the electricity off before leaving your home. This can greatly help when you get the all-clear to return to your home, as any appliances or other electrical items getting wet can be extremely dangerous and a fire risk, so taking the time to turn off the electricity in the home beforehand can let you enter and properly clean your electrical items before using them once more. If the flood waters were high enough to reach sockets or other electrical fixtures, it is best to have an electrician, or the power company enter first to avoid electrocution and have a professional tend to the damage.
When you reenter your home, remember to do everything possible to stay safe. If you turn off the electricity, it can be easier to do so, but there are more concerns than just electrocution to watch out for. Flood waters are frequently contaminated, making dealing with the damage caused by them hazardous. Wearing protective clothing is a good idea, such as gloves and masks, so you do not inhale the unhealthy spores that can be in the air or directly touch unsanitary runoff.
Document the Damage
Once you have entered your home once more, do your best to document the damage your house received from the flood waters. Having the value of each item you own as well as taking photos of the damage is an easy way to document the damage, especially if you have photos from before the flood as well. Note that some insurance plans do not cover flood damage, so be careful to look into such coverage before approaching your insurance company or a public adjuster to look into an insurance claim for the damage.
Repair Water Damage as Soon as Possible
Repairing damage from flooding can be a big project and is often more than a single person or family can do by themselves. As such, employing a water damage repair team can be a good idea, especially because they know how to do so in a way that everyone stays safe and healthy. Repairing can include replacing drywall and flooring, and damaged furniture needs to be properly cleaned and possibly disposed of if the damage is too extensive, so the sooner you can start repairing the water damage, the better. Once you have clearance to reenter your home, try to get water damage repair started within the next two days to keep damage to a minimum.
Determine the Presence of Mold in Your Home
One of the results of water damage can be mold, which needs to be treated immediately to avoid any health concerns. The mold can begin to grow only a day after the flood, meaning the sooner you take to water damage repair, the better. Mold removal needs more specialized treatment, so taking the proper steps to properly disinfect and dry out everything the water reached in your home as early as possible is a great way to avoid getting mold in your home. Knowing what to look for to identify mold can help you know to get it treated. Look for places where there is obvious staining and where the moisture from the flood waters has gathered, as well as anything that carries a rotten smell. If you hire a water damage restoration company, they will often identify and deal with mold issues, or refer you to a specialist who can do so quickly. Get it treated before it grows even more and becomes a bigger problem.
Check the Water and Sewage Lines
Once the water damage has been taken care of, the water supply to the house needs to be checked. You should also check that the sewer lines were not affected by the flood waters. If you notice brown water in your home while cleaning up, that can be a sign that the sewer line is backed up and requires attention if you want to move back in. Once the electricity, sewer, and water lines are working properly and the water damage has been taken care of, you can safely return to living in your home once more. Make certain that all plates and cutlery are properly cleaned with either boiling water or a sterilizing solution of one part chlorine bleach and four parts waters.
Reaching out to your insurance company or a public adjuster to look into insurance claims for flood damage is something to keep in mind when a flood happens. Try to keep your money in your pocket while getting back to how your home looked before the flood waters came. Luckily, adjusters exist whose job it is to help you through the process so that you can worry less when first facing flood damage.
Looking for a public adjuster that is knowledgeable about claims for flood damage? How about a public adjuster that specializes in home insurance claims brought on by weather disasters such as floods and storms? Then Santos Public Adjusters are the perfect fit for anyone living in Florida. Contact us today and see what we can do for you!