What to do after your home floods
It’s a scenario every homeowner dreads – you arrive home and find water damage. Whether water is gently dripping from the
walls and ceiling or pouring out in a torrential stream, you know that you must fix the problem quickly. But what should you do first? How can you minimize the damage and protect your family? Here are five important steps to follow after your home floods.
- Turn off the electricity. If your home is flooded, locate your circuit breaker and turn off the electricity. Avoid areas with deep water or you could be electrocuted (if you have to go through water to get to your circuit breaker, call an electrician). Do not turn the power back on until you are sure your home is dry enough.
- Shut Off Your Water. If you locate leaking or broken water pipes, turn off your water supply. Find the main water valve in your home and shut it off immediately. The valve is generally located beneath the kitchen sink. If you have trouble finding the valve, check near the water heater, in the basement along the front foundation wall, or inside a crawl space. Rotate the valve clockwise to turn it off.
- Document the damage. Take photos and/or videos that capture the full impact of the water damage (including the extent of the flooding and how it impacted your possessions) to ensure you do not decrease your available insurance coverage. Contact your insurance company to find out what they will cover and follow their instructions.
- Move your valuables. If you have valuable possessions that could be in harm’s way, move them to a safe area. Move items such as paintings and mirrors from walls with water damage (even if these items haven’t been affected yet) because they may fall as the wallboard soaks up water. Remove items such as money, photos, jewelry, and important documents from the water and place them in plastic bags. You may be able to salvage these items, even the more delicate ones, by utilizing a contents restoration service. If you do decide to dispose of items, make sure you first photograph them for insurance purposes.
- Contact the professionals. If you are the do-it-yourself type, you may be tempted to start the restoration process after a flood, but that may not be the wisest course of action. Depending on the category of water damage affecting your home, the water may be unsafe for you to clean up on your own. Furthermore, mold and mildew begin to grow within 24-48 hours, so if you do not manage to completely dry the impacted areas of your home, you may face further problems. Professional restoration companies like Alert Disaster Restoration have the equipment and knowledge necessary to thoroughly dry, sanitize, dehumidify, and deodorize your home and cherished possessions. Such measures can prevent further property loss. If you have a water damage emergency, contact Alert Disaster Restoration for speedy and efficient assistance.