Watching flood waters approach or make contact with your home is a tragedy that many Americans face each year. Hurricanes, rain from stalled weather systems, and even melting snow are just some of the causes for devastating residential flooding to occur.
As a home or property owner, there is little you can do to prevent flooding from occurring, but you may be able to limit the damage that results from your home being inundated with water. This information will help you understand what you should do as soon as the floodwater recedes.
The first thing to remember is safety. Flooded homes can pose many dangers, including the risk of electrocution from stray current and downed wiring, injuries from structural damage or debris, and illness from contact with contaminated floodwater or surfaces.
A homeowner who has been notified by authorities that they can return to their property after a flood should make sure they wear protective clothing, waterproof boots, and gloves to minimize risks. Once at the property, homeowners will want to make sure that gas service is turned off to the home and electrical power is disabled before entering. If downed power lines are found, it is important that homeowners do not access their property until the power company has removed the risk.
Next, clear the home
Once homeowners have dealt with any existing safety issues, the next step is to clear the home of flood-damaged items. This task will include removing ruined carpets, rugs, saturated furnishings, and personal items.
Depending on the level that the floodwater reached inside the home, it may be necessary to also remove cabinetry, drywall, or other types of wall materials and coverings. Hardwood and other types of floor coverings may also require removal. Some types of tile installed on concrete floors may, however, survive the damage.
Next, accelerate drying
Once soaked or ruined items and non-salvageable building materials are removed, homeowners will need to begin accelerating the drying process inside the home. Large fans, portable heat sources, and dehumidifiers may be used to help dry the remaining structure and lower humidity levels inside the home.
It is important to note that time is of the essence in a water damage situation, due to the potential for mold and mildew to develop. Homeowners who do not have the time or equipment to devote to this type of major cleanup project should consider contacting a water damage restoration service as soon as possible after the flooding occurs.
A reputable water damage restoration service has the equipment, resources, and training needed to help homeowners minimize their losses and more easily restore the home to its pre-flood condition.