Flooding can occur at any time. Rain falls everywhere, and precipitation’s pervasive nature makes flooding due to torrential storms a likely possibility for homeowners. Aside from nature, malfunctioning appliances, leaky foundations and plumbing problems are common causes of indoor flooding. When a home floods, the following restorative tasks will support recovery efforts.
1. Ensure Safety
Massive floods that lead homeowners to evacuate should be handled with caution. Safety is the primary concern. Upon returning to the flooded property, homeowners should inspect the flooring for warping, holes, cracks and foundation damage. Enter the home only after checking for structural damage.
Suspicions of damage to gas or electricity lines should prompt homeowners to immediately contact their utility company for a resolution. Gas leaks are invisible to the naked eye. Plus, water and electricity pose as a significant danger. If possible, shut off the power to the home to prevent electrocution.
2. Document the Damage
Evidence of destruction to the home and its contents helps homeowners satisfy insurance companies and accelerate the claims process. Prior to performing any repairs to the flooded home, take ample photographs and videos of the damage. Coverage decreases with any repairs made prior to the adjuster’s inspections.
Once the insurance company is notified of the flood damage, a representative may give the homeowner the go-ahead to start the cleanup or repairs. Depending on the extent of the flood, certain possessions may have to be tossed. This is especially the case when sewer water floods the property.
3. Pump Out Excess Water
Floodwaters accumulated in the basement should be pumped out gradually. Cracks and an eventual collapse of the walls are likely to result if the waters are extracted too quickly. The severity of a flooded basement makes the subsequent cleanup task best left to professionals.
4. Disinfect the Home
A heavy-duty cleaning agent, hot water and elbow grease are enough to start the disinfection process. Upon scrubbing all affected surfaces, mix a quarter cup of bleach with a gallon of water. Clean the home’s interior with this bleach and water solution for a thorough sanitization.
If floodwaters have pummeled through the kitchen, take steps to disinfect the plates and drinkware. Metal utensils, pots and pans should be sanitized by boiling them in water (do not add bleach) for ten minutes. Clean counters and cabinets with a bleach and water solution.
When attempting to clean up furniture, be aware that certain pieces, like water-soaked mattresses and stuffed animals, will have to be discarded as a health safety precaution. Upholstered furniture absorbs waterborne bacteria; if keeping cushioned chairs and sofas, professionally clean these types of furniture.
Carpeting should be thrown out if it was exposed to sewage water or was submerged in water for 24 hours or more. If clean water floods the home, carpeting should be cleaned promptly to prevent mold from flourishing. A disinfecting carpet cleaner is ideally suited to eliminate germs.
5. Professionally Examine the Electrical System
After a flood, the home’s electrical system should be inspected by a licensed electrician to ensure safety. Wiring behind walls can retain dampness and must be fully dried. Light outlets and switches can become caked with muddy debris after floodwaters subside, making the skills of an electrician a necessity.
6. Professionally Inspect Appliances
Dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and similar electrical appliances that have been exposed to floodwaters should be professionally cleaned prior to reuse. Without a professional inspection, the appliances can shock the user upon use or the units will undergo significant damage.
7. Reduce Mold Infestations
Mold spores are notorious for colonizing within the recesses of a flood-damaged home. Address the flooded property as soon as possible, as mold can sprout within 24 to 48 hours. Disinfecting and drying the home’s interior content helps to mitigate potential outbreaks of mold.
Weather permitting, open windows and doors to increase ventilation and speed up the drying process. Run dehumidifiers and fans. Limit the spread of mold spores inside the house by placing fans at the entryway to doors or on windowsills and directing the fans outwards instead of inwards.
Also have the HVAC professionally inspected after the flood and prior to turning it on again. Mold can disseminate rapidly throughout the home if spores are living inside the ducts. Once professionally cleaned, the HVAC unit can be turned on to further dry out the house
8. Board Up the Property
A flooded home may undergo significant exterior damage. Homeowners faced with broken windows and damaged doors should board up the property. Cover a damaged roof with tarp. A temporary solution, securing the home keeps out pesky wild animals and protects the home from elements, like rain and wind.
9. Find Alternate Housing
If a property is too severely damaged to inhabit, homeowners may be faced with the task of locating a shelter or short-term, alternate housing. Contact the insurance company to determine what types of temporary housing options are covered under your policy. Remaining in an unstable home is unadvisable.
10. Hire a Flood Restoration Service
In the aftermath of a home flood, restoration service providers are essential to help restore the property. Reputable companies may be found through the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List. References from neighbors or friends are also useful when seeking a reliable restoration service.
When floodwaters and the resulting damage are too uncontrollable to manage, contact Texas’ most respected water damage restoration service, Target Restoration. The specialists at Target Restoration offer comprehensive flood cleanup services, including working with the homeowner to file insurance claims.
Water damage spreads fast, destroying structures and leading to mold infestations. As soon as water damage makes its entrance into your home, consult Target Restoration immediately. Our skilled technicians arrive onsite quickly and contain the damage, dry out the premises, and thwart mold growth
Target Restoration offers premium water damage restoration services to residential and business properties throughout the state of Texas. Technicians stand by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to your emergency call. Give us a call at (877) 741-9026.