A word of advice to start: If you’ve never had a flooded home, you should not assume you never will. When it comes to house floods, you should go into the situation with presence of mind and excellent preparation.
That preparation ranges from knowing what steps to take and in what sequence. But it also takes the mental preparation to accept the idea that not everything in your home will be salvageable. Likely, some of it will not be.
We’re about to give you a checklist to read and keep on hand should you ever experience a flooded home or another household water emergency.
The Flooded Home Checklist
Even if you live near a river or other body of water that could flood, don’t assume that this is the only source of potential house floods. Items in your house or on your outdoor property are at least as likely to be water hazards.
For example, pipes (especially older ones) can easily develop leaks or burst without warning. A water heater could leak or overflow. Even a sink or tub could flood your home if someone forgets the drain is plugged with water still running.
We cautioned you to have a checklist ready — and here it is.
Shut Off the Main Water Supply Valve
As soon as you see signs of flooding in your home, shut off the water supply. If you don’t know where this is located, find out. It would also be wise to mark it in some way so that another household member or visitor could find it easily.
Do this even if you know the water is coming from outside, not from a pipe, appliance, or fixture. Shut off the gas too. You never know where outside water will go or how much of it there will be.
Shut Off the Home’s Main Electrical Breaker
Do this immediately after stopping the water supply. And if you have some else to help you shut off both home systems simultaneously, do so!
A house flood can lead to various electrical issues. So once your power is off, don’t switch it back on until you can have an electrician inspect for wire and outlet damage and check appliances that use electricity.
Call a Plumber
Calling a plumber is your third priority for at least two reasons:
- If there’s a damaged pipe, the plumber can repair it.
- A plumber can also check the gas line and the appliances that use it (e.g., furnace, water heater, stove, clothes dryer) for damage.
An experienced plumber might also be able to provide advice on other concerns you might not have spotted.
Put on Protective Clothing
If the flood cleanup has already had you walking in the floodwater, use any clean water source you can find (bottled water, melting ice cubes, what’s left in sink taps, etc.) or rubbing alcohol to wipe off exposed skin.
Then put on protective gear like rubber boots and gloves. Be careful not to put your bare hands in the floodwater as it’s likely to be contaminated. Don’t touch your face or mouth at all.
Call Your Homeowners Insurance Company
You need to let your insurer know about your water emergency ASAP. They might not cover all the damage, depending on the cause of the flood. But you should at least find out what they do cover — which is probably some of it.
Also, be sure to take photos of the damage, regardless of what your insurance company says they’ll cover. Again, depending on the flood’s cause, there might be an appeal process or other options. Better safe than sorry!
Begin (and Continue) the Drying Process
Start by estimating the amount of water needing extraction. That way, you’ll know whether it’s worth the cost of renting professional water-extracting equipment or calling the pros to do it. And if your electrical system is all right, get some fans or space heaters going.
This is also the time to remove important perishable items like photos, documents, stored clothing, etc., from the flooded area. Take them to a dry place and lay them out on a flat, waterproof surface.
Then, grab a mop and bucket, and start bailing water. Call an equipment rental business to determine if they have what you need or reach out to a water damage cleanup service like us. Or do all three, depending on the urgency.
Call a Water Damage Restoration and Mold Remediation Service
When water damage experts come to your home immediately after the flood, we plan our approach and start the restoration process right away. We begin (or continuing) the drying process using industrial-strength equipment.
Then we might replace wet or moldy drywall, repaint, replace damaged tile or carpeting, attempt to salvage and restore wood floors and furniture, and more of the many other repairs that might be needed.
We might need to come back following the initial work too. Within a few days or weeks of the flood, you might see black spots appearing on your walls, in carpets, etc. Just when you thought you had everything under control following your water emergency!
Even if you don’t see any actual mold growing in your home since the flood though, it’s a good idea to have a professional come in and do a mold test. We think it will put your mind at ease, no matter what the outcome.
House Floods Are the Worst — We Can Help
Should all we’ve discussed here take place right after you realize you have a flooded home? Unfortunately, yes. The sooner you can dry things out and begin the water damage restoration process, the greater your success.
There’s a fair chance you won’t recover everything you lose to water damage or other water hazards. But a responsive and meticulous flood cleanup service can make a huge difference when remediating flood damage and restoring your home.
Spaulding Decon can help. Instead of struggling to do the flood cleanup by yourself or some willing friends, why not hire the professionals right away? Learn more about our services and contact us today.