The historic snowstorms of 2015 caused a lot of consumers to worry about the same issue: flooding. As major metropolitan cities such as Boston recorded more snowfall than ever before, citizens were further paralyzed by flooded homes. What can you learn from situations such as this one? A proper amount of preparation will help you deal with a frustrating natural event. Here are several ways to restore your home in the event of flooding.
The frustration of watching water stream into your home may cause you to react rather than plan. Resist that urge. There is little you can do in the short-term to negate your flooding issues. The greatest priority throughout the clean-up phase is your safety.
Flooding means that there is water in your home that could interact with your wiring. The danger of electrocution is real, so proceed carefully. Consider hiring an electrician to verify that there is no immediate danger with the wiring. Similarly, the volume of water may reduce the integrity of your home’s foundation. Along with likely mud issues throughout your residence, there are many reasons to tread carefully.
Call in a Professional
A quick examination of the damage should determine your ability to handle the flooding on your own. Don’t be a hero. Experts on water damage restoration are better equipped to respond to crisis situations. They also have a level of training and expertise that you lack. There is also a good chance that your insurance policy will cover the expense. Even if it does not, you should still get a quote for basic services. You have already suffered a great deal. The demoralizing nature of disaster clean-up could double your misery.
Itemize Your Misfortune
While you wait on the professionals, there are proactive steps you can take. After you have verified the safety and structural integrity of your home, grab a flashlight to investigate how many items are salvageable. Note that mold is a key consideration in flooded homes. When possible, move affected items to safe areas at your residence. If there is none, place your valuables in storage boxes that you can relocate. While you cannot fully negate the dangers of mold, these tactics at least reduce your exposure.
Make a list of all your affected items. Include the ones that you believe are salvageable. Your optimism may prove unfounded later, so preparing for the worst-case scenario is smarter. Anything you exclude initially represents something your insurance company may deny on the claim later.
Your insurance company will require details about the amount of your damage. The best and quickest method is to capture the horror on film. Either take lots of pictures or create an entire video to encapsulate the degree of flooding. The footage empowers you to communicate your needs to your insurer almost immediately after the disaster.
Pay particular attention to furniture, carpeting, and flooring. Such items rarely survive flood conditions. Similarly, investigate cabinets, doors, and windows for telltale signs of damage. Note that mattresses are almost assuredly a lost cause. You should also check the ceilings to see if they are sagging. If the answer is yes, exit the premises immediately as a precautionary measure.
With everything else protected, you are ready to clean up, presuming you choose not to wait for a professional. The grim news is that every surface in your home needs cleaning. You must mix a batch of a powerful disinfectant in order to make your home inhabitable once again, even on a temporary basis.
Use five parts of water and one part of bleach to construct a working solution. Put on protective gear, which you may have to buy first. If so, keep your receipts for insurance purposes. While wearing the gear, spray and rub down all surfaces. Once you finish, furiously wash your hands and scrub your entire body with disinfectant to avoid unintentionally ingesting any harmful chemicals.
Flooding is a catastrophe that is completely beyond your control. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer its effect, following the guidelines above at least lessens the frustration of a heartbreaking turn of events.
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I think it is only natural to call professionals to help after a flood. It is probably the most effective and efficient way of dealing with the mess. However, if you are really brave, it doesn’t take much to gut a flooded house. It just isn’t a very fun job, and one that most people, me included, would rather not do.
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