Flood Damage 101: 10 Steps to Recovery

Flood Damage 101: 10 Steps to Recovery

man in flooded house with phoneSometimes, when it rains it pours. And then you’re up an infamous creek without a paddle, trying to figure out how to care for a flooded home or property. Given the emotional and physical toll flooding can take on you, it’s only understandable that you might struggle a bit with figuring out the next steps. Rather than having to do it all by yourself, here’s a little help in the form of a checklist. Familiarize yourself with it and whenever disaster decides to strike, you and this checklist will be ready to take action.

Step 1: ☐

Don’t Panic: The most important thing to remember is not to panic. There are a number of steps that need to be taken and if you’re stressing out, the process will only become harder. Also, only fools rush in. Sometimes the floodwater may recede before coming back. Wait till it’s over, so you don’t find yourself backtracking and duplicating your efforts. Check off this first step and let’s continue. You’re already cruising through this checklist!

Step 2: ☐

Safety First (or in this case second): Cover up any cuts and wounds you might have, so the dirty floodwater doesn’t leave you fending off future infections. Also, be sure to throw out any food that has come into contact with the flood.

Step 3: ☐

Power Down: Turn off all of your electronic devices and remove them from the affected area A.S.A.P. Any additional, easily-movable items should be gathered up and transported to a dryer location as well. The quicker you get this done, the more likely you’ll be able to save them. If possible, completely turn off the power to the flooded room(s). This is especially important if the water has risen above any outlets.

Step 4: ☐

Take A Deep Breath: You’ve earned it. Let’s move onto the next step.

Step 5: ☐

Call Your Insurance Agent:  Find out if your insurance agency covers flood damage. If so, the agent you speak to will set you up with an adjuster to go over the damage. Be sure to note everything that has been damaged. Any photos and videos you can take will only help your claim in the long run. Document it all, then move onto the next step.

Step 6: ☐

Ditch the Water: Wait for the water to go down, and then spring to action. To remove lingering water, you can go the old fashioned route with buckets and towels. This is a particularly popular method when you’re worried about using anything that requires electricity. If you can get your hands on a wet/dry vac, this can be useful in pumping the water out. Just be sure there’s a zero chance of water coming into contact with it. And that means extension cords are a no-go. If you can rent a sump pump from a local hardware store, that’d be a good option too. Once the water is all gone, move onto the next step.

Step 7: ☐

Dry Dry Dry: By all means necessary, get to drying the affected area. If the weather has calmed down, open up your windows for ventilation. If you have any fans and dehumidifiers, put them to work. The longer the area stays wet, the more likely mold can set in. Speaking of mold, to prevent it from growing, try to remove any drywall or wood that the floodwater has seeped into. Find the water line in the affected area and measure roughly 20 inches above it. Where possible, remove and trash the material below.

Step 8: ☐

Take Another Deep Breath: No one said this was going to be easy, but you’re doing your property proud. Keep it up!

Step 9: ☐

Become a Clean-Machine: After the water is gone, start disinfecting every surface that came in contact with the floodwater. Walls and wood beams included. Use hot water and any cleansers you have. Break out the bleach where possible. If you have a pressure washer, go ahead and use it with a detergent on sturdy, exposed materials like studs and joists. While going to town with the cleaning, be sure to get rid of any mud and debris that didn’t recede with the floodwater. While you’re cleaning the area, if you have any clothes that came into contact with the floodwater, be sure to get those articles cleaned too. If your washer/dryer are in the affected area, have a friend help you out.

Step 10: ☐

Contact the Professionals: If you’ve come this far, then you’re a rock star. But you still might need additional help. Contact Environmental Consulting Group to help you with emergency 24 hour service, water extraction and removal, drying of affected areas, structural dehumidification, mold remediation and more.