You cannot predict anything in the world since many things can happen within a few minutes and unfortunately some of them are out of control. Natural disasters are one of them and unlike any other situation, which you can predict and prepare for, no one ever knows when a natural disaster strikes and damages everything within a few minutes. Unfortunately, calamities such as floods, earthquakes, storms and many other such disasters are inevitable and you have to live with that. Every year, the United States faces a number of cyclones and tornadoes that destroy many localities within a few minutes.
However, some disasters occur due to negligence and we can minimize such calamities from occurring if we take proper precautions and take timely action to deal with them. People get confused if they come across a flooded home which may be due to a natural disaster or some unknown leakage. But however frightening the situation appears to be, it can always be handled. If you are unfortunate to come home and find out that your house is flooded, here are some of the things that you should do immediately to minimize the damages.
- Find the Source
The first and the most important step that you need to follow is to find the source if you come across any leakages that may have occurred in your absence. Dealing with the source is the most important step since the water might still be pouring out of it which will make the water levels rise continuously. Check the water pipes within your bathrooms and basement and if you cannot find the source, just shut the water supply that is connected to your whole house. The next thing you should do is to cut the electricity supply to avoid electric failure and potential hazards that may occur from it such as electrocution. If you are unable to do it without risking yourself, it is better to call an electrician to do the job for you. Take pictures of the affected areas if you have insurance and share it with the insurance agent. You should stay calm if you are affected by natural floods and carry out all the necessary steps.
- Assessment of Damage
If you have insurance and have gotten the necessary permission, use a pump to remove water and open your door and all windows to assist you in drying out the wet stuff. You should take necessary precautions while walking so you do not fall or slip when moving around the house. You should place all your valuables and important things in a safe place. Even if you are successful in removing the standing water from your home, nearly all of your stuff will remain moist particularly if it was raining in your area. You can also use dehumidifiers which work great especially in closed spaces and if you feel safe can also open the electricity supply and turn on the air conditioners which will also help to get your stuff dry.
- Call the Insurance Company
Your home insurance will largely depend upon the policies that you have but many insurance companies cover flooding if it is due to storms, burst pipes or city sewers. The insurance company will send an adjuster to look at and assess the damage that occurred and determine whether the damage can be covered. If your losses and damages are covered, your insurance company will cover the costs as soon as you call them and although the repairs can be costly the insurance money will likely lessen your burden. In some cases, the insurance company may not be able to send an adjuster right away and in such cases, you should document anything valuable and take as many pictures as possible both before and after the clean-up. This will help the adjuster when he can come and examine your house.
Once the water is dried and you have called the insurance company, it is time to begin your post-flood care. You may call in a professional clean-up crew or begin working yourself to clean up the mess. It may involve you in determining what is salvageable and throwing away anything that is too damaged or no longer safe to use. If the flooding in your home was widespread, you may have to take appropriate measures to take care of damaged items more quickly. You may have to remove flooring, drywall, and insulation to prevent mold and other fungi from spreading in your home. Furniture and other stuff need to be dried out or thrown away depending upon the level of water damage. Unless you are extremely handy with it, it is probably good to call a professional company that specializes in mold removal.
After the flood has done its damage, it will likely take a considerable time for things to get back to normal. You may have broken windows due to the water rushing in and flooring needs to be replaced. After your insurance company pays out for the qualified damages, you may need to hire a contractor depending on the number of repairs that are needed. If you have electronics that were submerged in water, make sure to have it checked by a professional before plugging it back in the power source. It also should be applied for your television set, radio, computer, and other electronic devices. If you are unsure about the first steps of conducting repairs when your house floods, consider hiring a construction company that specializes in flood and other natural disasters. They can determine the stuff that needs to be replaced and will help you to safely enjoy your home once again.
Failure to completely clean your home after flooding may lead to severe damages that can have adverse effects for you since it will increase the costs that you may occur by a considerable amount. It may lead to affecting the structural integrity of your home while also damaging your electrical system. Another point to note is that failure to clean your home will encourage the growth of fungi which can lead to illness since some species of fungus are dangerous for people. You can prevent all of this by taking special measures such as using special equipment, chemicals or utilizing the help of professionals.
Consider purchasing an air purifier to prevent the growth of fungus as it will reduce the spread of mold spores and remove unpleasant odors. Thus while you can do nothing to stop your house from getting flooded, there are plenty of things that you can do to minimize the damages that you have incurred.