Did you know that more than fifteen million homes are at risk of flooding in the United States?
When the forecast calls for clear skies, it’s hard to imagine your home immersed in water. Yet, house floods can strike with little to no warning, turning your everyday domestic paradise into a waterlogged nightmare.
Whether caused by a natural disaster, a busted pipe, or an overwhelmed city sewer, home flooding is an unfortunate and overwhelming event that can leave homeowners feeling helpless and distressed.
In such a dire situation, it’s essential to know how to respond effectively. To help you out, we’ve created a guide. Keep reading to find out more.
Stop the Water at Its Source
In the chaos of a house flood, your first instinct might be to start saving your cherished possessions from the rising water levels.
However, the initial and most crucial step to mitigating flood damage is to stop the water leak at its source, if it’s safe and possible to do so. Here’s why and how you should do it.
When faced with a flood, it’s essential to remember that time is of the essence. Water can cause significant damage to your home’s structural integrity and belongings in a surprisingly short amount of time.
The longer water continues to flow, the more extensive and costly the flood damage will be. Therefore, your top priority should be to stop the water flow as soon as possible.
In cases where the house flood originates from an internal source, such as a burst pipe, immediately shut off the main water supply to your home.
This valve is typically located in your basement, garage, or outside near the street. If the flood is due to a malfunctioning appliance, turn off the appliance and disconnect its water source if you can do so safely.
When the flood is a result of external factors, like a natural disaster, stopping the water leak at its source might be impossible. In such situations, focus on safety first and evacuate if necessary.
Once conditions permit, professional help can be enlisted to remove the water and begin the process of repairing the flood damage.
However, remember that dealing with water in your home can be dangerous. If you’re not confident about what to do or the situation seems risky, it’s better to wait for professional assistance.
Shut Off the Electricity
Turning off the electricity is a critical safety measure when dealing with a flooded home. The mixture of water and electricity creates a lethal cocktail that poses a severe risk of electrocution.
In addition to being potentially life-threatening, electrical short circuits caused by water intrusion can also lead to fires, adding another dangerous element to an already disastrous situation.
In a flooded home, the risk of electric shock is not limited to the areas visibly underwater. Water can seep into walls and floors, wetting electrical wiring and outlets you might not be aware of.
Moreover, electrical appliances affected by the flood can also pose a hazard if they’re plugged in and the electricity is on.
For these reasons, if it’s safe to reach, you should shut off the electricity at the main breaker box as soon as possible.
By doing this, you’ll eliminate the risk of electrocution and potential electrical fires, securing the environment for you, your family, or any professionals that will come to help restore your home.
If the breaker box is in a flooded area, do not attempt to reach it. Instead, wait for a professional electrician or the power company to disconnect your home.
Confronting the aftermath of a flood is a daunting task, especially if you’re asking yourself, “Is my house in a flood zone?”
It’s a situation that can be hazardous and requires specialized knowledge and equipment to manage properly. Calling for help is vital for several reasons.
Firstly, professionals have the right training, experience, and tools to handle a flood situation efficiently and safely.
They can assess the extent of the damage and identify potential hazards. They also execute a comprehensive plan to remove the water, dry, clean, and restore your home.
Secondly, if you’re unsure whether your house is in a flood zone, a local flood damage restoration company or your city’s planning department can provide valuable guidance.
They can help you understand your risk and offer advice on preventative measures for future incidents. Thirdly, flood waters can contain harmful contaminants, like sewage or chemicals, that pose a health risk.
Professionals are equipped to deal with these hazards effectively, ensuring your home is not only dry but also clean and safe.
Lastly, flood damage can have lasting impacts on your home’s structure and your belongings. These things may not be immediately visible.
Professionals can spot these issues and address them before they become more significant problems.
So, who should you call?
- In an emergency situation or if there’s imminent danger, call 911
- If the flooding is due to a burst pipe or similar household issue, contact a plumber
- Report the flood to your homeowner’s insurance company
- Contact a professional flood damage restoration company
When your house is flooded, it’s not just about the visible water. The hidden damages can be extensive and costly. For instance, water can seep into your walls, causing structural damage or promoting mold growth.
Furniture, appliances, and personal belongings can also be ruined. By taking pictures or videos, you’re creating a record of the immediate aftermath and the extent of the damage.
Documentation should include not only the damage itself but also any steps you take during the restoration process. Keep receipts for all related expenses, including temporary lodging if you need to leave your home.
This thorough documentation provides evidence to back up your claim. This will make it easier for your insurance company to assess the damages accurately.
It also ensures that you have a record of all expenses, so you don’t overlook any costs when filing your claim.
If you’re seeking to “find flood insurance quotes here,” be aware that the insurance adjuster will use your documentation to cross-reference the flood damage against your policy.
This process helps determine what is covered and what compensation you’ll receive.
Start Cleaning Up
Starting the cleanup process after a flood can be overwhelming. But it’s essential to begin as soon as possible to minimize the flood damage and prevent further harm.
Start by discarding any items that are beyond repair or cannot be dried out. These items can harbor mold and cause health problems.
Finally, clean and disinfect all areas affected by the flood to prevent mold growth and restore your home back to normal. If you don’t have time to clean up after a flood, consider hiring a flood restoration company.
Prevent Mold Damage
Preventing mold damage is a crucial step after a flood for several reasons. Mold can cause extensive damage to your property, and it can also pose significant health risks.
Exposure to mold can lead to allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and other respiratory conditions. This is especially true for individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
Mold thrives in damp, humid environments. This means that a recently flooded home is an ideal breeding ground.
Mold can start growing within 24 to 48 hours after a flood. Once it takes hold, it can be challenging and costly to eliminate.
Prepare for Future Floods
There are several things you can do to prepare for floods in the future. This includes learning about your flood risk and putting together an emergency kit. It is also a great idea to purchase flood insurance.
This is essential if you live in an area prone to flooding. Homeowner’s insurance typically doesn’t cover flood damage. This means you’ll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
Getting flood insurance can provide you with financial security in the event of a flood. These policies cover damages to your home and personal belongings caused by flooding.
This includes structural damage, electrical and plumbing systems, and personal possessions.
Additionally, flood insurance can help cover the costs of flood prevention measures, such as sandbags and other barriers, as well as cleanup and restoration costs after a flood.
Don’t hesitate to find flood insurance quotes here.
What to Do if Your House Floods
It can be incredibly stressful if your house floods. The best thing you can do to make the situation less stressful is to familiarize yourself with the top steps of what to do if this happens.
The first thing you should do is find the source of the leak. You should also shut off the electricity. Lastly, consider getting professional help to repair your home.
Do you want to find out more about how to find the best flood insurance? If so, make sure to check out the Finance section of our website.