What to Do if Your House Floods: A Helpful Guide

You might like to wade in ankle-deep water in many places, but your home is definitely not one of them. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.

Heavy rain, rising storm surge, hurricanes, and even snow are causes of floods that can lead to severe damage to your home and property. You can’t stop the power of water. It’s out of your control.

But you can learn what to do if your house floods so you can take the proper steps to protect your home and your family.

If you experience home flooding, here’s what you can do to repair and restore your home.

Beware of Electricity

Once the flood waters have stopped, you need to turn off the electricity in your home. This is especially important if the water has reached the height of your electrical panel, switches, or outlets.

Do not attempt to touch any light switch or electric appliance until the power in your home is completely shut off. You don’t want to take any unnecessary chances.

You could risk electrocution by attempting to shut off electrical systems on your own. The safest choice is to call an electrician. They will know the correct steps to shut off the electricity and when it’s safe to turn it back on.

Document All Damage

When you have a flooded house to deal with, your first instinct may be to get the water out ASAP. Before you begin that process, you need to assess the damage first.

Take the time to document all visible water damage. Take pictures and video to show the insurer the true extent of the damage.

Your documentation could come in handy if there’s any dispute with your insurance provider about the damage to your home.

You must keep your safety in mind. If the water contains sewage or hazardous materials, be sure to wear waterproof boots, gloves, and a mask to protect yourself.

If the situation is dangerous, do not enter at all. Keep safety your top priority.

Hire a Cleanup Company

Cleaning up a flooded home is more work than you might imagine. It’s a long, complex, and stressful process.

There may be saturated carpets and flooring, wall damage, furniture damage, and the possibility of mold to contend with. It’s overwhelming to see what flood waters can do to your home.

Tackling this level of cleanup on your own isn’t a good idea. A professional water damage restoration company is your best bet for cleaning your home safely and thoroughly.

They understand what flood waters can do to your home. They know the best processes and products to handle the cleanup process.

Prevent Mold Damage

Mold is one of the biggest threats to your home following a flood. Flood waters are a breeding ground for mold.

It doesn’t take long for toxic black mold to set in and spread. This is dangerous for you and your family’s health.

After a flood, preventing mold growth should be a top priority. You should begin the water removal process as soon as possible.

Once the water is out, open the windows to get the air circulating. Keep humidity levels low by using fans and dehumidifiers around your home.

Taking these steps can help prevent mold growth in your home.

Replace the Flooring

All flood-damaged flooring should be removed. No matter the material, there’s the potential for mold growth. This includes the subfloor.

Carpeting absorbs flood water and needs to be removed and replaced as well.

Remove Insulation

Flood water destroys insulation which never truly dries out. Trapped moisture in your insulation leads to mold, mildew, and reduced air quality.

Wet insulation can damage the structure of your home and lead to rot. When the insulation is affected by flood waters, it’s in your best interest to replace it.

Open Up Your Walls

Generally, walls are made with drywall and wood studs. These materials are absorbent and prime for mold growth.

To be safe, you should open up the walls to allow the studs to dry. Replace any drywall that flood waters have touched.

Call Your Insurance Provider

After a flood, call your insurance company and start a claim as soon as possible. An adjuster can assess the damage and determine what types of damage your insurance will cover.

They can help you find a cleanup company and contractors to begin working on your home. Depending on your coverage, there may be help with emergency mitigation services.

Keep your receipts if you have hired a water restoration company or electrician. Your insurance company may reimburse you for these necessary expenses.

Homeowners’ insurance policies vary and do not cover flooding (At McMahon Agency, we have some partners that include flood insurance with your homeowners’ policy).

If you don’t have flood insurance, purchasing it’s a good idea if your area is prone to flooding. If your home floods once, it can happen again.

What to Do If Your House Floods

When your home floods, it’s an overwhelming experience. In the midst of your shock and disbelief, you must begin the cleanup process and protect your family’s health.

Knowing what to do if your house floods can be very helpful. Even a short delay in the cleanup process can have devastating effects on your home.

Since 1922, McMahon Insurance Agency has been meeting the needs of our valued customers throughout NJ, PA, and DE. If you need flood or homeowners insurance, we’d love to help you.

Contact McMahon Insurance Agency today to discuss your insurance needs.