A flood can be devastating for your home, property, and especially your emotional and mental well-being—but all is not lost. Take the proper steps to minimize lasting damage, maximize your insurance opportunities, and get your home dry, clean, and livable again.
Before anything, educate yourself and members of your household about the following flood safety precautions to ensure no one gets injured:
Shut Off Your Electricity
Stand on a dry spot and use a dry stick to switch off your power. Your electronic devices and appliances can shock you if they haven’t been unplugged. Do not use them until they have been taken apart, cleaned, and dried.
Avoid Electrical Wires and Power Lines
Electrical current travels through water, making electrocution a major danger in flooded areas. If you see a downed power line or dangerous electrical wires, stay away and report it to local authorities and contact your utility company.
Watch Your Step
Floods can scatter debris such as broken glass, nails, and garbage around your neighborhood and home. Be careful where you step and stay on the lookout for animals that may have been displaced. They make seek shelter in your home and could become aggressive if they feel threatened.
Check for Gas Leaks
Destruction from flooding can cause dangerous gas leaks. Use a flashlight to carefully inspect for damage and turn your gas off is there is any risk of a leak.
How to Drain Your Home After a Flood
If you have a basement or cellar, it’s important to drain your basement slowly after a flood. Rushing it can cause serious damage to the foundation of your home. Once the floodwaters are no longer on top of the ground, use a pump (not gasoline-powered) to reduce the water level to about two or three feet. Mark the water level and check the next day to see if it went up or down. If it went up, it’s not ready to drain. Do not pump until the next day. If it waterline crept down a bit, continue pumping.
How to Clean and Dry Your Home After a Flood
After a flood, it is important to stay calm and make a plan of action. Try not to get overwhelmed, you can only take on so much, so be sure to ask for help. Break your tasks into smaller steps and follow them. Follow the guide below if it makes sense for your home.
Before Anything, Photograph the Damage
Insurers will need these photos to assess the breadth of damage.
Take Care of Yourself First
Make sure you get enough food and rest throughout the ordeal. If you have any medical conditions that require prescriptions, check if they are damaged and replace accordingly. Ask local authorities if your tap water is safe. If it has been contaminated, buy bottled water to drink and to wash your hands with regularly, as floods can spread dangerous chemicals and germs. If you have children or pets, reassure them that everything will be fine and make sure they are out of harm’s way.
Rescue Your Valuables and Irreplaceable Items
Collect your money, jewelry, insurance papers, photos, heirlooms, and any other valuable items. Wash the mud off and put them in a freezer overnight to avoid mildew.
Most homeowners’ insurance covers damage caused by wind, storms, and broken water pipes—but not surface flooding. Select policies may cover basement flooding if caused by sewer backup or sump pump failure. If you have flood insurance, most of your losses caused by surface flooding should be covered. Read your insurance policy, list and photograph your damage, and make a thorough claim.
About Santanna Energy Services
Santanna Energy Services located in Austin, TX and Bolingbrook IL, is an Electricity and Natural Gas Provider for Residential, Commercial, Business and more. Founded in 1988 and have been in business for 32 years and growing!