Last year, the nation witnessed several disasters that caused billions of dollars in damage. Over the summer, heavy rainfall affected St. Louis, eastern Kentucky, southern Illinois, Death Valley in California, and Dallas, causing devastating flash floods. Heavy rain in and around Yellowstone National Park also led to rapidly melting snow that damaged cabins, roads, and utilities in the area.
With various factors affecting the likelihood of flooding, it’s crucial to be equipped with practical restoration tips after a flood. Knowing the proper steps to take after water damage can help you protect your possessions, preserve your building, and quickly get things back to normal quickly.
Our water damage restoration experts at Restoration 1 have responded to numerous flooding emergencies nationwide. We want to share practical and actionable tips on what to do after a flood to avoid further complications and save as much of your property as possible.
#1: Put Your Safety First
Before anything else, ensure you and your loved ones’ health and safety. It’s normal to want to inspect your flooded building as soon as possible, but doing so without taking the necessary safety measures can cause more issues.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind to keep your household safe:
If you have to evacuate, do not return to your home until the local authorities permit you. Instead, make other living arrangements while you wait for their go signal.
Electricity and water in the same space can be dangerous, so ensure the power supply is turned off before you enter your home.
Floodwater can contain harmful micro-organisms, sewage, chemicals, and other contaminants that can make you ill. As such, avoid wading into floodwater.
If you must enter a flooded room, wear proper protective clothing, including waterproof boots, long pants, gloves, and long-sleeved shirts.
Wash any part of your body exposed to floodwater with clean water and soap as soon as possible.
#2: Notify Your Insurance Company
Your insurance can help cover the damages caused by a flood, so it’s crucial that you get in touch with your provider as soon as possible. That said, know that standard homeowners and renters insurance does not cover flood damage. You may need separate flood insurance, especially if you live in an area frequently affected by flooding or heavy rain.
Insurance companies typically hold inspections before approving your claim. This process can be tedious and time-consuming, so it’s better to notify them about your water damage sooner than later.
#3: Begin Water Extraction and Drying
Water removal and drying is best left to an experienced water damage specialist, as the process often involves working in a hazardous environment. With that said, there are steps you can take while waiting for the experts to come to prevent further damage.
If it is safe to do so, the following can be done to remove excess water and help kickstart the drying process:
Remove standing water by using pails or pumps – if any are available.
Mop up the remaining wetness with a wet/dry vacuum.
If there is power and it is safe to turn your electricity on, use fans to speed up the drying.
If the weather permits, open the windows to let fresh air and sunlight help reduce indoor moisture.
#4: Mitigate Mold And Microbial Growth
When it comes to smart restoration tips after a flood, another factor to remember is that the longer things are left wet, the increased chances of mold growth. If you have any items or furniture that has been wet for two days or more, it’s best to remove and discard them as soon as possible. These items could already harbor mold inside them.
Moreover, consider throwing out mattresses, stuffed animals, carpeting, and other similar material that has absorbed water and cannot be cleaned and dried quickly. Take your salvageable belongings to a dry place to inspect them for mold before cleaning.
Determining which to keep and which to let go of can be heartbreaking, but doing so can help you protect more. Most importantly, mitigating microbial growth can keep your loved ones safe from health issues caused by mold exposure.
#5: Disinfect Flooded Surfaces
Floodwater can contain bacteria, germs, sewage, and other contaminants that can cause health problems. No matter its source, it’s best to clean and disinfect all the surfaces the floodwater has touched.
Floors, countertops, sinks, and certain dishes can be cleaned using one cup of bleach and one gallon of water. However, remember never to mix bleach with ammonia, as doing so can create harmful fumes. Finally, wear the proper protective clothing before cleaning, and be sure to wash your hands immediately after.
#6: Get the Necessary Repairs Done
Once your building is clean and dry, repair work can start. Home inspectors can help you understand the components and areas that must be fixed. They can also coordinate with your contractor to carry out the repairs.
Working with a flood restoration company may be a better option if you’re looking for a smooth and seamless experience. A water damage specialist can handle the entire process for you, from the evaluations and assessments to the actual repair and restoration work. Their expertise in flood damage cleanup also means they know how to best deal with any damage to your property caused by these weather events.
Call the Experts for Complete Flood Damage Restoration
Experiencing extensive damage to your property and possessions after a flood can be stressful and discouraging. While there are measures you can implement independently to minimize your losses, know that you don’t have to handle everything on your own.
If you have experienced water loss beyond what you can handle, don’t hesitate to get help from a professional water damage restoration company like Restoration 1. A certified and experienced team has the skills, equipment, and technique to get the job done quickly and restore your property.
If you’ve recently experienced a water disaster or flood, you can rely on the expertise of Restoration 1. Contact Restoration 1 to find a location near you today. We’ll dispatch a team immediately to help you recover from this challenging situation.