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How to Approach A Home After Flooding
Even if you happen to have adequately prepared for flooding, once a flood actually hits your home the devastation can leave you reeling. After your home has suffered extreme damage from unpredicted weather conditions your first instinct is to begin picking through the wreckage – but do not do that. Refrain from returning to your property until you have received notice from the local authorities that the area is cleared. You may be returning to a waterlogged home, a destroyed property, or perhaps just light damage. Whatever the case may be, remember to keep clear of any downed power lines or poles and watch out for standing pools of water. You should report sightings of damaged electrical lines to the authorities so that it can be taken care of as soon as possible. Do not enter areas where floodwaters are still present, as the water may be conducting live currents or have come into contact with sewer water and other pollutants. Always watch for anything hazardous and remember to ask for help immediately if you feel you cannot handle a situation. Water damage can cause severe damage to a building or property and often it is better to allow an expert water restoration company to take a look before venturing in on your own.
Once you survey your land, make sure that you enter your home carefully. Depending on the severity of the flood damage, the home’s structural integrity might have been compromised. Flood damage has the capacity to shift an entire building on its foundation, leaving it standing, but in danger of breaking apart at further stress.
If your utilities – gas, water, and electrical power – were not shut off prior to evacuation, you should ensure that they are turned off now. Water does create an excellent conductor for electrical power, making it extremely dangerous. Likewise, gas lines should be totally shut off, in case the damage has caused a leak in the lines, which would only compound the dangers.
Items within your home that have been immersed should be cleansed before any further use. Often homes must be entirely stripped after flood damage, to the point of removing all carpet, furnishings, and furniture in addition to replacing drywall that was soaked. All of these items have the potential to retain extensive mold growth and an infestation of mold is the last thing you want in your home. Without a professional or extremely thorough cleaning, a home that has suffered flood damage will often retain traces of mold damage, which is extremely hazardous to human health. Any food items that were in the flood areas should be considered compromised and disposed of as well as any sanitary items you might consider using, such as bathroom or personal hygiene items.
If the damage to your home was moderate to severe, the clean up effort may well be far outside your own personal ability to clean. If you have water damage, call Restoration Local 24/7 at 1-888-443-3110 for a free estimate! We are well equipped to handle water damage and mold dangers after a water damage event.