Is Your Home Flooded? 4 Steps To Help You Cleanup The Damage
Residential floods can cause serious damage – whether they're caused by a burst pipe or a torrential rainstorm. If your home has been flooded, you need to act fast to take care of the mess. However, before you rush in to start cleaning things up, there are some steps you should take to make the process go smoother – and safer. Here are four steps that will help you recover from flood damage.
Ensure Your Safety
If your home has been flooded, the first thing you should do is ensure your safety. Standing water inside your home can be a source of several risk factors. First, standing water could be electrified, especially if electrical cords and outlets have been exposed to the moisture. Second, standing water could be contaminated by human waste, or even automotive chemicals. Third, standing water could be hiding dangerous creatures, such as snakes, especially if the flooding was caused by torrential rains, or swollen rivers.
To protect yourself from hazards, you should turn the electricity at the meter before entering your home. You should also put on safety gear before entering. Your safety gear should include rubber wading boots, long pants, gloves, face mask, and goggles. Finally, bring a flashlight in with you so that you can find snakes and other creatures before they find you.
Document the Damage
When you enter your home after a flood, you'll be tempted to start removing your belongings right away. if you plan on filing an insurance claim, that's the worst thing you can do. To protect your claim, take pictures of all your belongings inside your home – as they are in the flood waters. This will allow you to document the fact that your belongings were in the house – and damaged – during the flood. Once you've taken pictures, you can start removing your personal belongings.
Remove the Water
After you've put on your safety gear, and taken pictures to document the damage, you'll want to start removing the water. The first thing you should do is open all your exterior doors. The open doors will allow some of the standing water to escape into the yard. To remove the rest of the water, you'll need to use either shop vacuums, or sump pumps – depending on the depth of the water.
Call the Professionals
If the cleanup becomes too much to take care of on your own, you should call in the professionals. This is particularly true if your entire home is filled with standing water, or you're beginning to smell the faint odor of mold. Professional water mitigation companies are experienced in this type of cleanup and will be able to get you back into your home quickly, and safely.
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