Have you ever had a home flood? If you have, you are not alone. It has been estimated that water damage is the reason for about 20% of all insurance claims. In 2015, damage from several thunderstorms cost the American economy a out $9.6 billion. That represents about 60% of insurance loses. If your home has been impacted by a severe storm and has been flooded there are things you need to do. Experts from emergency flood services say homeowners should take the following steps.
- Wait until the area has been secured to return. If your home has been completely flooded in a natural disaster, you should not even consider going back to your house until you the emergency flood services experts have declared the area safe to return. It can be very dangerous to go back to your home or any other flooded area until it has been declared to be safe. Even after the waters have receded, you need to wait.
- Contact your close friends and family. It can be hard to communicate with everyone that you need to during an emergency. As soon as you can, you should notify the people who are close to you that you are ok. When you plan to go back to your home to inspect it for damage, you should let them know. The best thing to do during this kind of emergency is to communicate as much as you can.
- Contact your insurance carrier. The next call you need to make is to your insurance carrier. Not all homeowner’s policies include flood insurance so you should check on that if you live in an area that is prone to flooding. Your insurance carrier can help with emergency lodging arrangements and will need to send someone out to check out the damage. They can also help you with mold removal and finding a mold remediation company, this can be a big problem after a flood (or after any level of water damage).
- Watch your roof. When a home suffers a really bad flood, one common problem that emergency flood services experts warn homeowners about is collapsed roofs. this is a common problem for homes that have been impacted by a flood. If part of your roof has collapsed as part of a flood, you need to take extreme care and not let any children enter the structure. If part of the house’s roof has collapsed, more may follow. Not all of a home may collapse at the same time. Be very careful when you return to your home.
- Watch out for electrical problems and gas leaks. Both of these are very common after a big flood. Both can lead to very dangerous conditions. If you see any evidence of either, you should not go back to the home. This is when you need to call emergency flood services and alert them to the problem. They may be working on it already.
- Remove as much water as you can. When you get back to your home, the first step in the water damage clean up process is to remove as much of it as you can. You can use a wet vac, if the power is back on. These can often be rented from the local hardware store. You can also use buckets, mops and towels to get it all up.
- Mold removal should become your next priority. Once the water is gone, you need to get rid of any carpet and rugs and other items with fabric such as curtains and furniture. There are some mold remediation companies that may be able to clean your items. Mold spores are in the air and around us all of the time. It takes between 24 and 48 hours for mold to set in. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found thousands of kinds of mold and they are all very dangerous for human health. It is essential that this be dealt with before you move back to your home.
The United States has the most volatile weather on the planet. You do not have to live on the coasts or near the water to have your home be vulnerable to flooding.