It doesn’t matter if your home has flooded due to a burst pipe, heavy rain or a faulty appliance, there are certain steps that you need to follow in order to protect your property and to protect yourself.
Questions that will come to mind are ‘how to dry carpet after flood, upholstery cleaning and you may even think about benefect botanical disinfectant. However, before you begin the steps of how to combat flooding, there are other areas of your home or transport that may have been affected that you need to consider. For instance, your vehicle. You may use your house washer to remove the general grime from your vehicle but removing bird droppings from car paint is another issue. However, compared to flooding, this is small in comparison as flooding can cause major damage to the engine and interior of your vehicle. Additionally, from time to time take, we all take pride in the exterior house washing of our properties, we may also use a black mould treatment, or an industrial strength dehumidifier to really give our properties a deep clean, but the effects of a flood may force this process which can be daunting. Ultimately, you will need to follow the below steps to ensure that you can get back to your home as soon as possible.
- Stay calm and take a breath
If your house has been flooded, it is very easy to feel stressed and become overwhelmed. Your mind will start running away with the mess, how you will deal with it all, problems related to mould and how your valuables and your property have become destroyed. With all of this in mind, it is still important to, first of all, take a deep breath and remember that everything will be fine. It’s important to keep calm and remember that everything will soon be back to normal.
There are lots of hazards that can occur when a house has been flooded, so the first and foremost thing you need to consider is safety. Begin by making sure that the power in your home has been switched off. You need to do this even if there has been a full power outage in your area. If your house has been seriously flooded, you may need a qualified electrician to come and inspect, dry and clean the power box before you can switch it back on again.
- Protective clothing
You need to ensure that you have protective clothing on, such as rubber gloves and boots when you turn the power off. Remember that flood water can be toxic and it’s not always possible to see what’s contaminating your water. Make sure that you do not let the water come into contact with your hands, nose or mouth.
- Stop the source
If possible, you need to stop the water source. If the flooding is due to a burst pipe then you need to switch off the water supply. A lot of appliances also have an automatic shut-off valve which prevents leakage and more water damage.
If your house has been severely flooded you need to be sure that it is safe to re-enter before you go back in. Look for structural damage such as buckled floors or walls, cracked or warped foundations and if in doubt. do not enter the property. if you think any damage has been done to your electric, gas, or water equipment, you will need to contact your utility company. As much as household items may be valuable, nothing is more important than your safety.
- Insurance companies
In most cases, insurance companies do cover for floods. You will need to contact your insurance company so that you start the process of getting your home back to normal up and running. Your insurance company will send somebody out to look at the damage of your property and work out what you are covered for. If your insurance company provides you with some instructions that they want you to follow, ensure that you do this. It is worth making a note of any damage that you spot and also note any conversations that you have with your insurance company. If communication is transparent from the beginning, the whole process will be a lot easier.
Before you start to do any tidying up, it is important that you take pictures or videos of the damage that the flood has caused. You’ll be able to send these to your insurer. During the cleanup process, it’s also worth taking pictures, as photographic evidence is important. As well as taking pictures of household valuables that have been damaged, you also need to take photos of the outside of the property and any structural damage that has occurred.
When a house flood is caused by a burst pipe, you will probably need to look for a plumber. A plumber will be able to stop any leaks and fix the issue. Your plumber may also be able to offer you advice on who you can approach to help you remove the water in your property and get your property back to normal.
- Drying out
Once any visible water has been removed, you will need to allow time for your property to dry out. It’s important to get things dry as quickly as possible as mould and bacteria will not grow on anything that is dry and clean. Dehumidifiers and industrial fans can be used to help dry your property, but you could also consider opening any windows and doors.
Once your property has been dried out and cleaned you’ll be ready to rebuild your home. How much you will need to rebuild depends on the extent of the flood. If you are still living in your home whilst any work is underway, it may be worth setting up dust barriers between your living areas and any construction areas.
You will need to be very patient throughout the whole process and this can be difficult when you just want your home to be back the way it used to be. If you can be patient and accept that things will take time, the whole process will be easier and it will feel far less frustrating.
Make sure you follow this step by step guide when dealing with household flooding to ensure that you get your home back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.