In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, much of the East Coast is dealing with flood issues. If your home has been flooded by Hurricane Sandy, here’s what you need to know:
If You Have Flood Insurance - Contact Your Insurer ASAP
If you have flood insurance, you should contact your insurer ASAP. You’ll need to file a claim and document the extent of the flooding. Unfortunately, many of the people who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy don’t have flood insurance - in which case you may be going the DIY route to take care of the flooding in your home.
Turn Off the Power
Turn off the electricity before you go into a flooded area of your home to ensure you’re not at risk of electrocution while you work. If you can’t get to your main breaker or fuse box without going through the water, call your local fire department to have them turn off your power.
Extract the Water
You’ll have to either buy your own pumps, or hire professionals to come and pump out your house for you. If you’re going the DIY route, the Red Cross advises to pump slowly in areas below ground; pump out about one-third of the water per day. If you pump out floodwater too quickly, the pressure from wet soil outside can cause structural damage to your home.
Pull Out the Carpets
If you can, you should pull out carpets. Carpets can retain water for a long time, and the soggy carpet can cause more damage to the underlying floor structure. If you can’t pull out the carpets, you’ll need the right equipment to extract most of the water from them. This is where hiring a professional crew really helps.
Disinfect and Dry Out
The Department of Public Health recommends that you use a solution of two capfuls of bleach for every gallon of water to disinfect all floors and walls that come in contact with flood waters. The same thing goes for any of your belongings that came into contact with the water - either throw it out, or disinfect it.
For drying out, air conditioners, fans and portable dehumidifiers can help remove moisture once the water has been pumped out. If you hire a professional, they’ll take care of this for you, but if you’re going DIY, it’s important to thoroughly dry out your home to prevent mold growth which could pose serious health risks.
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