Article updated as of March 17, 2023
Flood Damage Clean Up Checklist (Residential)
Spring is the rainiest season of the year based on the number of days with precipitation. As the spring season is upon us, now is the perfect time to share best practices when it comes to water damage cleanup and repair after a flood.
Spring isn’t the only time there is a threat for flooding. The winter months can also bring flood damage, as a result of melting snow. That’s why having a handy water damage checklist is good around the year.
Flood damage cleanup can be a stressful time, no matter if it is a small or devastating flood you are dealing with. It takes a lot of time and patience – and good old fashioned hard work. This can be particularly challenging for businesses, with the pressure of getting things up and running again quickly.
Your Checklist for Flood Damage Cleanup
Before jumping into a water damage restoration checklist and flood damage checklist, it is important to express that the success rate of recovering after flood damage is based on urgency. When it comes to water damage – the longer that water sits unaddressed, the more damage it can cause. Water can seep into walls, flooring, contents and affect the structure of your building all together. Not only can standing water cause secondary damage, it can also cause mold growth within 24-48 hours.
That is why it is essential to contact a professional water damage restoration company immediately if your property has experienced a water intrusion as a result of a flood.
Here are the steps on your water damage checklist:
Who to Contact
The first step on your flood damage checklist should be to contact your insurance company to report your loss. Your second call should be to a professional water damage restoration company.
What to Document
After you contact your insurance company, you need to document the damage. This means taking pictures of all the areas where water has entered your property, as well as the contents that have been damaged.
Once it’s safe to enter the property, your restoration company can start removing all furniture and personal items that need to be restored. Most companies will have warehouses to store the items they will be restoring and can utilize specialized equipment to remove moisture and dry out your contents. Your water damage restoration company will determine which items can be restored, and which items need to be replaced completely. Basically, the company will perform restoration if the cost to do so is less than the replacement cost.
The key to any size water-related damage restoration projects is to remove all standing water as soon as possible. By utilizing specialized equipment, a professional water damage restoration company can get to work quickly. As mentioned above, the longer that water sits unaddressed, the higher the chance that secondary damage can occur.
Once the standing water has been removed from the affected spaces, the property needs to be dried out. This step is important in the water damage restoration checklist because this helps deter the potential for mold growth. In addition to ventilating the property, the professionals will bring in fans and dehumidifiers to start drying the structure. Dehumidifiers also help to stop a musty smell from developing.
Safety Tips for Flood Damage Restoration
Before entering your property after a flood, there are some safety precautions to note. One thing to be aware of is the type of water that entered your property. Typically, it is best to not enter your property after a flood, as the state and classification of the water itself might be unsanitary. That is why contacting a professional company that is knowledgeable in water-related damage restoration should be a top priority.
Turn off electricity
This should be the first thing you do; you don’t want to step into dangerously live water. Call an electrician to inspect the property if necessary.
After a severe flood, have a professional check your building structure hasn’t been destabilized.
Once all the water is out, you’ll need to disinfect the ground and walls. Mud and sewer water can cause serious health issues – so trusting a professional restoration company is essential.
If your property isn’t dried out quick enough, there’s a chance mold and mildew will start to grow. This poses a health risk. You will need to have professionals come in to assess any mold issues you may encounter.
Flood Damage Repairs 101
When a home or office facility suffers from water damage, there are many items our team of experts will assess. Each water damage is different, so here are the basic items, but there could be many more on the list.
Open-up the walls, as mold growth and wood rot are difficult to spot. We may need to pull out drywall until just above the waterline. Remove any wet insulation and clean away possible mud. Fans and dehumidifiers should be used to carry out the drying.
Hardwood floors stand the chance of buckling, so it’s best to remove one floorboard every few feet. Then move on to cleaning and sanitizing the boards before replacing them or making any necessary repairs.
Remove your sheet or tile flooring, as we will need to dry your subfloor.
Drying any wood subfloors can take some time. Swelling and warping is a possibility, so it’s vital to do a thorough job. Any plywood or OSB subfloors that have been submerged in water will need to be replaced.
Walls and Trim
If you’re lucky enough to have some items, like walls, floors, and woodwork that have not been affected by water, we will still need to clean and sanitize them, as they may still be contaminated with mold growth.
It’s important to note that flood damage cleanup is a process, but the first step to recovery is contacting your insurance company, and then reaching out to a reputable flood damage cleanup company.
Flood Damage Restoration Consultation
As you can see, flood damage restoration is more than just cleaning and repairing places that water has touched. You have to take into account how water affects your property, possible mold growth, as well as the contents within. If you take a DIY approach to restoring your property after flooding, you might not know all of the places that water might have affected. In the long run, it is probably quicker and more cost effective to call a professional restoration company for a consultation.
Flood damage cleanup companies can provide you with all the tools and options that you need to get your property back to its original state. At Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT, we can handle the entire flood damage recovery process. Our dedicated reconstruction teams can rebuild any part of your property that was damaged and needs to be rebuilt. That means we can restore your property, as well as rebuild it back to its original condition to help you recover efficiently.
Let BMS CAT Restore Your Home
Contact us today for a free consultation and learn why homeowners and big businesses trust us to help them recover after natural disasters and emergencies of all sizes. We have locations strategically placed across the nation to help property owners recover their home or business after water damage from flooding.