Flooding is the most commonly occurring disaster in the United States. It can happen anywhere even in low-risk areas. It is can be dangerous and can cause fatalities and destruct a property. But with proper precautions, property owners can limit the damage of a flood to their home or business.
Follow these steps to minimize the damage a flood can do to your property and protect yourself from any danger. Know what to do before, during and after a flood.
Before A flood
First and foremost, you should know your flood risk and create an escape plan. The plan should include your evacuation area, the route that you will take in the event you have to leave your home, and how you will communicate with family members in case you get separated from each other. It is also important to make an emergency kit that you can easily grab in case of evacuation. Then, make sure to protect your property with these tips;
- Purchase a Flood Insurance Policy. Take note that a standard homeowner’s policy does not cover flood damage. Buy a separate flood insurance policy to keep you from spending a lot of money for repairs in case a flood damages your property.
- Store important documents and papers in a safety box and place it in an area safe from floodwaters.
- Clean your home’s gutters and downspout to help rainwater from flowing properly to the system and away from your home’s foundation.
- Elevate your home’s furnace, water heater, and electric panel if they are located in areas prone to flooding. You can place them on concrete blocks.
- Waterproof the basement walls and around windows with a sealant to prevent water intrusion.
- Install a sump pump with a battery backup. If you already have a sump pump, test it to ensure that it is in good working condition.
- Consider installing zero reverse flow valves to keep floodwater from backing up into your home’s floor drains.
During A Flood
- If a flood is likely to occur in your area, be alert and listen to the radio to be informed of the road and weather conditions.
- If the authorities advised you to evacuate your home, do it immediately. Follow the routes advised by the officials, and don’t forget to carry your emergency kit.
- If you still have time before you evacuate your place, make sure to secure your home.
- Move valuable belongings like the furniture to your attic or on a higher floor.
- Turn off utilities, gas, water, and electricity at the main switches but never touch electrical equipment if you are standing in water or wet areas.
- If a flash flood is about to occur in your area, leave your home immediately. Do not wait for the officials to give instructions to leave.
After A Flood
- When returning home, wait for the officials to deem it safe to re-enter.
- Use extreme caution as damage might be hidden especially in your home’s foundation. Look out for bucked walls or floors, holes in the floors, broken glass froms windows and other dangerous debris.
- Do not use electrical appliances that have been saturated with floodwater as they can pose danger. Have them checked by an electrician before you use them. Also, do not touch electrical equipment when you are standing in water.
- Avoid floodwaters as they are extremely contaminated by sewage and other harmful pathogens. If you wish to assess the damage of your property, wear protective gear like boots, gloves, and a face mask to keep yourself protected as you go through your home.
Document The Damage
Your insurance company will look for proof of the damage to your property. Contact your insurance provider immediately to inform them of the situation of your property.
- Take as many photographs and videos as you can to show proof of your damage to your property and personal belongings.
- List down all the items that were destroyed including their value.
Cleaning Up After A Flood
Cleaning a home after a flood is a daunting task and it is best left with professionals. But if you wish to clean up your flooded home, make sure that safety comes first. Protect your self from potential hazards. Wear protective gear before exposing yourself to flood water. Then, follow these steps.
- Remove Standing Water – Use submersible pumps and wet/dry shop vacuums to remove any remaining water. You can rent this equipment from your local rental equipment company.
- Remove Unsalvageable Items – Discard porous materials like upholstered furniture, insulation, drywall, and items exposed to flood water. These materials are prone to mold growth that can pose serious illness to inhabitants.
- Dry Out The Area – Set up high-volume fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the area. If the weather permits, open doors, and windows to allow air circulation.
- Clean And Disinfect – You have to clean and disinfect everything that got wet using soap and water. When clean, disinfect them with one cup of bleach and water.
- Repair – You may need to repair damaged items. This includes hanging new drywall, installing new flooring and repainting.
Emergency Flood Cleanup And Restoration Services By Superior Restoration
When it comes to cleaning up and restoring a home after a flood, it is best to have it done by professionals. Flood damage specialists are equipped with advanced technology for removing and cleaning a flooded home. They are skilled and experienced in dealing with any size of a disaster. You can have peace of mind that your home will be back to its safe and livable condition.
If you need help cleaning up after a flood, our team is ready to help you. Contact our local office today, Water Damage Lake Elsinore.