What To Do In Case Of A Flood
In case of a flood, immediacy is key – so while it’s important to know what to do in case of a flood, it’s just as important to do it quickly (within the first 24 hours). Immediacy is critical because it will prevent additional damage from occurring. In addition, the better the initial cleanup, the better the flood restoration process. And regardless of the severity of the flood, there will be water damage restoration required – it’s only a question of how much.
A flood can occur when outdoor ground water is backed up, when the home’s water system is damaged, or when natural disasters come to pass. Whatever the cause, there are some basic rules to follow – and these rules will prevent further damage, keep the home safe for the family, and set the stage for professional flood restoration. In many cases (and for better outcomes) water damage restoration should be managed by experts who are trained.
Remove as much water as possible
Whatever the circumstances, removing floodwater is the essential first step. This can be done using a mechanical pump, a Wet-Vac vacuum, or the old-fashioned way - with buckets. At this stage it’s also a good idea to open doors and windows – air circulation is important.
Turn off water and electric sources
Where possible (even if the power is off) it’s better to turn off the main electric box, as well as the main water shutoff. These are precautionary measures, but will prevent inadvertent problems from arising – needless to say, floodwater and electricity don’t make a good mix.
Check for any structural damages
For added protection and safety, check for foundation cracks, wood damage, or other clues that may signal instability. If a gas line, sewer pipe, or electric cable looks suspicious, call the relevant utility company for emergency service. This may also affect flood restoration.
Safeguard against contaminants
Although floodwater might be clear, it could still contain sewage or chemicals. For personal protection it’s better to wear boots and rubber gloves. This is a good example where water damage restoration could use the attention of a professional remediation company.
Diminish the potential for mold
Unfortunately, mold can develop very quickly after a flood. Once again, it’s important to act quickly and remove all wet contents, especially carpeting and flooring. In the unfortunate case where mold has begun to infiltrate, professional flood restoration may be required.
Removal of personal property
Any personal property that is saturated will be hard to dry – these will probably have to be discarded. In some cases, rugs can be dried and cleaned but there’s a risk of mold growth. Flood damaged furniture (large and small pieces) will likely have to be discarded.
In any flood disaster, and when possible, taking photos of the damaged areas is a good idea. This is important in the event that the insurance company gets involved, and it could impact insurance coverage for water damage restoration or professional flood restoration. In order to reduce future risk and problems after a flood, it often pays to hire a firm that specializes in flood restoration – these are not situations where a DIY approach is advisable.