Between Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the combined cost in losses was over $270 billion.
And while 200 million Americans are at risk of flooding caused by nature, just as many floods occur as a result of household plumbing. Regardless of the reason, cleaning up the mess left on your floor is a time-sensitive process.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you live in a city with flood issues. This could mean you’re an apartment dweller in affordable Minneapolis or a homeowner in Dallas. Either way, if your home has been affected by flooding, it’s imperative that you begin the flood damage restoration process immediately. Knowing in advance what steps to take can prevent further damage and save you in costly repairs.
Whether you’ve already experienced a flood or you’re simply arming yourself with information for the future, follow these water damage remediation steps for best results.
Step 1: Stop the Leak
Before you do anything else, you have to stop any more water seeping into your home. This is more related to a flood from a burst pipe than one that’s due to natural causes.
When you have a flood from a burst pipe, you have to turn off the water supply into your home. If you’re unsure how to turn off that supply, you can call your local water supply company or a professional plumber. They’ll be able to assist you in stopping the leak immediately.
The Flood Damage Restoration Process
After the water has stopped coming into your home, it’s time to begin the flood damage restoration process. Because time is of the essence, you should begin taking these steps right away. The longer you wait to begin the process, the higher the likelihood that more damage is done and you’ll pay more for the damages.
Your homeowner’s insurance should protect you in the case of a flood caused by plumbing. For floods caused by natural disasters, you’ll have to have flood insurance to help recover your losses.
In the case of the former, be sure that you know your insurance policy before starting any work. Your claim will be dependent on the details of that policy, so you’ll want to ensure you’re following it closely.
While contacting your insurance to understand the process and start your claim should be your first step, remember that getting the damage assessed is time-sensitive. In fact, most insurance policies will include a provision that you begin the flood damage restoration process as soon as possible in order to receive full coverage.
Your homeowner’s insurance might even be able to provide you with a list of preferred companies that you can work with (and trust). However, in most cases, you are able to choose the contractor or company that you feel most comfortable with. Just be sure to check their credentials before hiring them.
After understanding your insurance policy, you should call a flood damage restoration expert. Before taking any further steps, they’ll perform an inspection of your home. The purpose of the inspection is to assess the damage as well as provide a timeline and a cost.
Your flood damage restoration professional has special tools to evaluate the extent of the damage and the work involved in fixing it. They’ll measure the moisture content of the room and the home in general, and create a plan with those measurements. These tools are usually rested or inserted into floors, baseboards, as well as ceilings.
After they’ve finished their inspection, they may suggest you begin packing out your personal items to prepare for the rest of the process. You may also have to remove contaminated items from the home.
The amount of time that water damage is left untreated has a direct impact on the amount of damage your home sustains. Untreated water damage can lead to further issues, including damage from mold. This is potentially dangerous and will also be more costly to have removed.
If the inspector determines that the moisture content in your home requires drying equipment, dehumidifiers will be brought in. The amount of time the dehumidifiers are needed depends on the source of the leaks and how long the water has been in the home. This can be anywhere from one to multiple nights.
To remove any standing water in the home, your flood damage restoration experts will use shop vacuums. This special vacuum sucks up any standing water that may seep into floors, walls, or other places. Typically, this stage of the process is dependent on what’s being dried, the size of the space and the amount of water that’s being removed.
In terms of drying, air movers will be placed in specific areas of the home in order to circulate the air. They may also need to lift pieces of carpet, remove baseboards, and drill holes in drywall to get to the source of the water. For hardwood floors, floor mats can be used to draw water from the floor.
To ensure that your drying process is going well, your flood damage restoration crew will monitor the progress. That means they’ll need to stop by as long as the drying components are in your home.
They’ll check the dehumidifiers as well as humidity levels to be sure everything is going as it should. They’ll also take the same measurements that were taken during your inspection. When your crew is sure that the home is free of water and back to a dry state, they’ll remove the equipment from your home.
Did You Suffer Damage From a Flood?
Flooding is becoming increasingly common in the US as a result of changing weather patterns, but floods can also occur as a result of a faulty plumbing system.
If you suffer damage from a flood, you should seek professional help right away. The sooner you begin the flood damage restoration process, the less likely that more damage will occur. To mitigate costs and the time it takes to restore your home to normal, contact us for your inspection today.