Picture everything you own floating in a sea of grimy, muddy water. This is what happens when your home floods. Flooding doesn’t occur neatly. The water is never chlorinated. There is not time to adjust your most prized possessions. It just occurs fast and without warning. The water comes in the house like a rocket and leaves it in disarray. Not only are your belongings destroyed but you are left with bacteria growing like nobodies business and a very unstable home. The systems in your home such as heating & cooling will also be affected. Where do you go after your home floods? This article will guide you in the direction you need to begin after your home has been hit by a flood in regards to water restoration.
Your insurance company is where you should begin when anything happens to your home especially flooding and fire damage. Many times your home owners insurance will have a special policy included for flooding. Call your insurance provider to see what is covered and what is not. Water restoration is something most insurance companies are very familiar with. If you live in an area known to flood make sure you purchase special flood insurance through FEMA. If your policy does cover such disasters they will send an adjuster out. The adjuster will take pictures and note the damage and most likely assist you with a contact that will help you restore your home.
Starting the clean up process will be the next step. This process will be long and tedious but necessary for the long term health and safety of your family and home. First things first, clear as much debris as you can and throw it away. Consider renting a dumpster unit. Clear the dirt residue, loose building materials and things that can not be fixed in general. Don’t hold on to questionable items, replace them.
Disinfecting is the next step after you have cleared all the loose debris that can not be salvaged. Get a pair of rubber gloves that are heat resistant and boil some water. Add a ¼ cup of chlorine bleach to each gallon of boiling water. The mixture you will have will disinfect anything and everything. Make sure kids and pets are a safe distance away from this mixture and make sure to label it poisonous. Spray and disinfect every surface whether it was involved directly in the flood or not. The bacteria will find its way through your home so be thorough.
Go room by room through your home. Start in with all the major furniture and items that consume the most space in your home. All clothes, furniture, bedding and throw rugs should be placed in an area that they will be able to dry without humidity and weather getting to them. Furniture with cushions needs special attention. If mold sets in you will have even bigger an issue so being thorough is key, hire a professional cleaner.
Kitchens are a bit easier to take care of. Disinfection with the combination of hot water and bleach should be effective for dishes and glassware. Metal should be boiled in hot water for 15-20 minutes. The bleach mixture will ruin the finish. Clean and rinse all surface areas, such as cupboards, shelves and countertops.
Walls, electrical systems, heating & cooling systems and appliances are all areas that it is better to have a professional come out and handle. There are all types of issues that could go haywire so why have a firs on top of a flood. Leave these major repairs to a professional. Have everything with an electrical end checked out. Walls will have soaked up all sorts of moisture and most likely will need to be replaced to prevent mold from infesting your home. There just isn’t a good way to dry drywall and it isn’t that moisture resistant.
Floors are tricky. Most of the time the recommendation would be to remove and replace all flooring. It is difficult to completely and thoroughly clean and disinfect carpet, linoleum, wood or tile floors. The subfloor will often become so saturated that drying it without removal of the floor material on top would be nearly impossible.
Flooding allows bacteria, mold and mildew a perfect entrance into your home. If you take precautions and follow these tips you should avoid anymore issues than you already have with the flood alone. Hopefully, you will not experience flooding as it is one of the hardest jobs to clean up. If you do be prepared with thorough water restoration it will yield the best results.