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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Steps to recovery: What to do after a home flooding

By David Incorvaia

Home flooding
FEMA assists homeowners after some naural disasters
One of the worst home disasters, especially if you’re located in a flash flood zone, is water overhaul. Flooding is one of the biggest home disasters reported after hurricanes and other tropical weather – it also is a large inhibitor of post-disaster deaths in low-lying areas.

Whether a storm causes flooding or a clogged toilet, flooding throughout your home can be costly and dangerous to your health. Water is conductive and electrical currents can be deadly following a storm.

After a flood, it is important to follow a few simple steps towards recovery. Following these simple steps will ensure low-cost and safe clean up after damages have occurred.

Flood recovery guide

Call your insurance company: First thing you should always do is call your insurance company and take pictures of the incident. Proof will be needed in order to obtain compensation and reimbursement for your costs of fixing the issue. Before you start the clean up process, show the insurance company through photos and videos the extent of the damage, and while cleaning up the mess, make sure to take thorough notes and pictures of discovered damages.

Get a professional or do-it yourself: Use a shop-vac or other water apprehension device to suck up all of the visible standing water. If the damage and standing water is extensive, you should consult with a professional to ensure proper results.

Clean all surfaces and mud: A storm flood may bring in mud and other debris into the home so make sure to eliminate all debris from the site. After sucking up the standing water and shoveling out any mud or debris, use disinfectant on every surface (bleach is not a bad choice) to prevent bacteria growth and mold in the future. Make sure to grab everything off the floors, throw away all paper and cardboard exposed to saturation, and place all wet surfaces in the sun to dry out the items.

Shut-off all electrical supply: Before working in the standing water and submersed areas of interest, turn off all power to the house for safety. Unplug devices and cut off the junction boxes located in your garage or storage room in your home. This all save you if there is a shortage in your electrical circuits due to the flood.

Pump water out gently: Too much water within your home will actually change the pressure, especially if your basement is more than half full of water. Slowly pumping out the water will ensure minimal cracking of walls or a potential collapse.

Patch up all leaks: If you’re able to do this simultaneously while pumping the water from the floor it will help prevent further flooding or water entrance. Patch up all leaks from the ceilings or cracks on floorboards and doors where water may be entering the home.

Air circulation is a must: Gases may be trapped inside the home, especially if a storm flood has abruptly entered while you were evacuated. Never use matches or flammable contents while in the home and check the weather to make sure you’re able to air out the space through open windows. Opening all of the windows in the house and using standing and ceiling fans will help dry out the saturated areas.

Check FEMA and your insurance company: During a natural disaster, FEMA will provide you with services and information in regards to financial reimbursement and safety. If the flood occurs from another problem, your insurance company will need the cost of new repairs and interior items that were damaged during the flood. Being thorough with these costs is important to ensure the maximum reimbursement possible.

About the author: David Incorvaia is a Rollins College Senior. He majored in Music performance/business administration and currently performs around the southeast at various venues. Other then performing David enjoys trading options, reading, and cooking. He also blogs and writes content for www.InsuranceLand.org.

Image license: Andrew Booher, US-PDGov