What Should I Do If My House Floods?
Experiencing a flood in your home can be a devastating event that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. Floods can cause extensive damage to your property and personal belongings and can even pose a danger to the safety of your family.
When flood damages occur, you should know what steps to take to minimize the damage and ensure the safety of your home.
It is also important to note that as a policyholder, you are to contact your insurance company immediately after flood damage and file an insurance claim. This will let your insurance company know about the damages and compensate you for your loss.
However, in some cases, some insurance companies will look for unjust reasons to deny claims. So if you feel your claim is being unfairly denied or rejected, you should seek the help of an experienced attorney.
At Voss Law Firm, our Texas attorneys have all the experience and skills to help you recover your losses. They'll contend with your insurance company till you get every benefit you deserve. Just call us today at 1-888-614-7730 for a free consultation.
Now, you need to understand that every flood situation is different, and the severity of the damage may vary. However, taking immediate action can make a significant difference in the recovery process.
With that being said, let's take a look at the steps to take to minimize flood damage and begin the process of recovery.
What To Do After Flood
1. Ensure Safety
The first and most crucial step after a flood is to ensure the safety of you and your family. If you have not evacuated, be sure to do so if the floodwaters are still rising. Do not attempt to wade or swim through floodwaters, as they can be contaminated with sewage or hazardous materials. If you must walk through the water, wear protective gear such as rubber boots and gloves.
Once you are out of harm's way, turn off all electricity and gas in your home to prevent any potential hazards. If you are unsure of how to do this, contact your utility provider for assistance. Do not use any electrical appliances or equipment until a professional electrician has deemed it safe to do so.
2. Document The Damage
Before you begin cleaning up or removing any water, document the damage by taking photos or videos of the affected areas. This documentation will be useful when filing an insurance claim and can also help you keep track of the extent of the damage.
3. Remove The Water
Once you have ensured your safety and documented the damage, the next step is to remove the water from your home. If the floodwater is still present, you can use a pump to remove it. Be sure to pump the water out gradually to prevent the walls from collapsing due to sudden pressure changes.
If the floodwaters have receded, you can use buckets, mops, or wet vacuums to remove any remaining water. If you have a large amount of water to remove, consider hiring a professional water removal company to assist you.
4. Dry Out Your Home
After the water has been removed, it's vital to dry out your home as soon as possible. Use fans, dehumidifiers, and open windows to promote air circulation and ventilation. If you have access to a large industrial fan, use it to help dry out carpets, walls, and floors.
If you have any furniture or personal items that have been affected by the flood, remove them from the affected areas and place them in a dry, well-ventilated area. If the items are salvageable, use fans and dehumidifiers to dry them out as well.
5. Clean And Disinfect
Once your home is dry, it's time to clean and disinfect the affected areas to prevent mold and mildew growth. Use a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water to clean any hard surfaces that have come into contact with floodwater. Be sure to wear gloves and protective clothing when cleaning to avoid coming into contact with any potentially hazardous materials.
If you have any carpet or upholstery that has been affected by floodwater, it may need to be professionally cleaned or replaced. Similarly, any drywall or insulation that has been soaked will need to be removed and replaced to prevent mold growth.
6. Contact Your Insurance Company
After you have taken the necessary steps to ensure your safety, remove water, dry out your home, and clean and disinfect, the next step is to contact your insurance company. Your insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to check out the extent of the damages, guide you through the flood insurance claims process, and help you assess the damage to your property. Be sure to provide them with any documentation and photos you have taken of the damage.
7. Prevent Future Floods
Once you have gone through the process of cleaning up after a flood, it's important to take steps to prevent future floods from occurring. Here are some actions you can take to reduce the risk of flooding in your home:
• Install Flood Barriers
There are various flood barriers available in the market that can be installed around your home to prevent flood water from entering. These barriers can be permanent or temporary and can be customized to fit the specific needs of your home.
• Elevate Your Home
Elevating your home can reduce the risk of flood damage. If you live in a flood-prone area, consider hiring a contractor to raise your home's foundation above the flood level.
• Install A Sump Pump
A sump pump is a device that removes water from your basement or crawlspace. Installing a sump pump can help prevent water from accumulating in these areas and causing damage.
• Maintain Your Gutters And Downspouts
Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris to ensure proper water flow. This can prevent water from pooling around your home's foundation and seeping into your basement.
• Invest In Flood Insurance
Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Consider investing in flood insurance to protect your home and personal belongings from flood damage.
• Seal Basement Walls And Floors
If you have a basement, make sure the walls and floors are properly sealed to prevent water from seeping in. Consider using waterproof sealant on the walls and installing a waterproof membrane beneath the flooring. This can help keep your basement dry and prevent damage from future floods.
• Create A Flood Emergency Kit
In case of future flooding, it's crucial to have a flood emergency kit ready to go. This kit should include essential items such as a first aid kit, flashlights, batteries, drinking water, non-perishable food, a radio, blankets, and any necessary medications. Keep this kit in a designated area that is easily accessible in case of an emergency.
When To Contact Our Texas-Based Attorneys
If you file a claim with your insurance company to receive compensation for the damages to your property, and you are having difficulty getting them to pay the claim, you should seek the help of an attorney.
At Voss Law Firm, we have insurance claim attorneys that are excited to help policyholders recover their losses. They'll support and stand by you till you get every benefit you deserve. All you have to do is call us at 1-888-614-7730 for a free consultation.