Floods and fire can cause damage in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Though floods do not consume property like fire does, damage resulting from flooding is just as bad, as most property usually cannot be salvaged after water damage. Additionally, flooding comes with a string of related problems such as mold and weakened foundations.
After floods or a house fire, it’s vital to start restoration immediately in order to prevent further property damage. The aim of restoration is to rebuild and eventually get settled back in. It’s advised to contract a professional to perform the restoration process as the structure of your house may have been weakened depending on the extent of the damage. Electrical hazards are also imminent, especially in cases of flooding.
As safety is the most important thing during disasters such as fires and floods, it’s important to remember the following list of do’s and don’ts, as doing so will keep you and your family safe until the inspection is done:
What you should do
- Contact your insurance agent after a flood or house fire.
- Hire a professional restorer to start cleaning, repairing and restoration. If your restoration company does not work with your insurer, make sure to coordinate their efforts so that you get the best settlement possible.
- Turn off water pipes to prevent water damage as some pipes could have burnt off.
- If you’ve been allowed back into the house, keep wet areas well ventilated by opening windows and turning on the air conditioner and heating.
- If any valuables have been salvaged from the floods, keep them in a safe dry place.
- Mop or sponge off any standing water.
- Before using any water after a flood, get your water supply line inspected for contamination with drain backup.
What not to do
- Do not go into your house after a fire or while your house is flooded. Roofs and floors can cave in if the structure of the house is damaged. You could also suffer electrocution from exposed electric wires.
- Don’t try to do the cleanup yourself. Cleanup and restoration needs specialized skills and equipment.
- Do not touch anything until the insurance company has made its assessment. Tampering with the house and its contents will negatively impact your settlement.
- Do not turn on any electric supplies after a flood, until they have been inspected.
- Don’t sleep in a room with wet carpets, floors or other items as this could expose you to respiratory illnesses.
- Don’t use heat to dry off closed areas as this could result in mildew or expand the moisture damage.
- Don’t use your vacuum cleaner to remove stagnant water.
- Avoid handling wet carpets without professional help as this could cause shrinkage or further damage.