Flooding is one of the most common and expensive natural disasters in the United States. Shockingly, very few property owners are actually insured for flood and water damage. In the two biggest flood events of the previous decade, “Superstorm Sandy” in 2012 and “Hurricane Harvey” in 2017, it was found that fewer than 20% of houses had flood insurance. It is thus vital to know some cardinal tips to reduce water damage after a disaster to prevent further long-term property damage.
Protect Yourself and Your Possessions
If you are alerted of the possibility of flooding, it is advisable to evacuate and only return after authorities have given the go-ahead. Before you enter your house, turn off all electrical sources and outlets by unplugging devices. To protect yourself from electrocution, don rubber gloves, waterproof boots, and protective clothing when entering a flooded area. Make it a priority to save your most valuable items first, such as identification documents, before trying to salvage the other items.
Dry Things Out
The good news is that if you manage to dry out your property within three to four days, it is entirely feasible to eradicate mold growth. Remove wet furniture from flooded sections and let them dry fully in a well-ventilated spot after wiping them. Use small pieces of wood or aluminum foil under your furniture legs to prevent wet spots. You should also increase air circulation by opening closet and cabinet doors, shifting furniture away from walls, and utilizing fans and dehumidifiers. Afterward, you may consider using your air-conditioner to remove excess humidity.
Combat Mold Growth
Besides the risk of contaminated water accumulating in your home, one potential impact of floodwater damage is mold growth.
The rotting process of mold and mildew can give off pungent, damp odors and affect your overall health and safety. Possible solutions include disinfection and deep-cleaning services such as mold remediation and odor removal services. It is important to remove the mold because waterlogged foundations can increase the risk of your property suffering greater damage in the event of another flood or natural disaster.
Call a Professional
Call water damage professionals to help. A professional water damage repair company will use comprehensive mitigation services to ensure complete flood extraction and moisture removal from hard surfaces such as marble and wood, and materials like carpets and upholstery. Specific services include dehumidification with industrial-grade dehumidifiers, disinfection, and decontamination to help remove bacteria, mold, and viruses.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company can help you navigate through a flood emergency. The first thing you should do is contact your insurance company as this ensures that you can maximize your water damage claim. One of the worst misconceptions that people may have is that they don’t need to call their insurers.
The second key point is the documentation of damages. Hire a public claims insurance adjuster because they work for your best interests, not your insurance company. They will help you to fairly estimate the cost of repairs and facilitate the entire claims process. Besides that, they will tell you all you need to know about a water damage insurance claim. Throughout the insurance claim process, cooperate with your insurer by giving them all the information they need: invoices, receipts, inventory of your property, and proofs of loss.