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Flooding And The First 24 Hours
We all know that flooding is one of the most destructive events that any home can face, and we know that timing is everything in the wake of any sort of water damage, which leads us to the conclusion that the decisions made in the first 24 hours following a flood event are crucial when it comes to making sure that your home is properly treated and salvaged. When returning to the home, you want to make sure that you stay safe, checking for any damage that could pose a threat to your safety, as well as turning off any and all utilities that service the home.
Before removing water or making any repairs, be sure to take plenty of pictures of the damage. Digital photos are the best due to the high resolution. They can also be stored and easily copied. Removing water or making repairs before you document the damage may seriously decrease your chances for a decent settlement.
Flood waters may very well contain contaminants from sewage or household chemicals, so protect yourself by wearing waders, long sleeves, heavy duty rubber gloves, and eye protection. Toss any food that has come in contact with flood waters, and boil any water before use to make sure that it is safe.
Call your insurance company, but remember that groundwater flood damage is not typically covered by most policies, so you will need to determine the cause of the flood and the extent of the coverage. Let them know if there are any repairs that have to be performed immediately, and follow whatever they say about working on the home before the adjuster has a chance to look it over.
Find out if you are in a disaster area, as this will mean access to increased resources, including public services designed to protect and restore the affected area. You can go through your insurance provider or contact FEMA directly to obtain access to this additional aid.
Once your insurer has given the go ahead, you want to start removing the water, using pumps or whatever is available. Water damage restoration professionals have the gear necessary to handle even the largest cases of water and flood damage. The sooner the water is removed, the better.
Any mold damage that is discovered needs to be properly treated and remediated, since mold can show up in as little as 24-48 hours following a flood. Again, a water and flood restoration service like Restoration Local will offer mold remediation as a part of their stable of services.
You will also want to secure the property to make sure that no additional damage occurs, and this may involve covering doors and windows and keeping the electricity and gas off until an inspection has been performed by qualified personnel.