It isn’t easy for an owner to assess his house after a flood. The task is disheartening and tricky. You could just be entering into an about to collapse house or piece of roof. As harsh as it may sound, it’s important to notify you of all the risks associated with after the flood damage.
This particular piece intends to throw some light on such risks and also, how to proceed with the damage assessment and water damage restoration in a planned and safe manner.
Things you must know before you enter your home
Make sure the house is structurally secure and safe to enter
Take a minute and use your sense of judgment to see if a section of your house seems like it may fall or collapse. Don’t go in if it does. Let a building inspector go in first and assess the situation with his expertise.
See if the porch roofs have all the support. If it all seems fine, move near the door and see if it sticks at the top. If it does, it’s a sign that the ceiling might fall off. If you cannot open the door and have to force open it, wait outside for at least five minutes to let the debris fall. It’s just a safety procedure. Your house might be all fine, and nothing of that sort might happen.
Look at the ceiling and see if it’s sagging. The roof gets worst affected due to rain, deep flooding or even due to the wind. Also, switch the electricity before you enter.
Necessary precautions after you enter your home
There are high chances of gas leakage during such a situation, and therefore, you shouldn’t use any open flames like matches or lighters. If you suspect a gas leak or hear a hissing sound, open all the doors and windows and leave your house immediately. Once you’re out of your house, call your gas company and inform them about the leak.
Next, you need to be careful of sharp objects and animals. Reptiles like snakes often turn up during floods because they lose their home too and panic. Be cautious while inspecting every corner of your house. If you do find such dangerous animals inside your house, call an animal removal service.
Calling a water damage restoration service
Flood water is considered category three water damage and is highly dangerous. You must try your best not to come in contact with infected areas and furniture. If you do, discard off the clothes and shoes as soon as you get the chance.
Also, you need to act quickly and get the area cleaned and dried. The affected area may be contaminated by anything ranging from your oven cleaner to propane gas or sewage particles. You’ll be the safest if you get the whole area cleaned up quickly.
The dampness caused due to the flooding leads to rapid growth of mold and harmful bacteria. Therefore, acting quickly is your only choice.
Look for water damage restoration services around you and hire one. Same Day Pros service provider finder will be the fastest option to do that unless you already know a service in your area through your previous experience.
It’s also the right time to call your insurance company and ask them for the necessary steps and procedure to file the claim.
How to maintain electrical safety under such situation?
Keep in mind that electrocution is one of the leading causes of deaths due to floods. It’s, therefore, a must to understand how to maintain electrical safety under flooding situation.
Keep the main power supply switched off. Even if the town’s entire power supply is cut off, don’t take chances and do the needful. When you enter your home, unplug all the appliances. Remove the CFLs and other light bulbs and disconnect the wiring (do this only if your local building inspection officials allow that. Don’t do it without their confirmation).
Do not touch broken electrical wires inside the house unless you’re sure that the power supply is off.
Maintaining food and drinking water safety
Begin with discarding off any food item that you suspect that it came in contact with the flood water.
Regarding water, use bottled water until your local authorities confirm that the water supply is safe to use. It may take a few days until then don’t take any risk.
Wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly and keep them soaked in water for at least 15 minutes before use until your area stays affected by floods.
If there are cans that came in contact with flood water, you can disinfect them by washing with dish soap and hot water, and then immersing it in chlorinated water for at least 15 minutes.
Cleaning up before the water damage restoration service arrives
Begin with ensuring proper ventilation. Open the doors and windows and then focus on removing the water. As it is category three water damage, you should be careful while dealing with the water.
Taking help of a water damage restoration company is the best solution as they are equipped with necessary safety gear and equipment to remove water in an adequate manner.
What you can do is switch on the fans and remove the furniture that has been unaffected. It’s also a wise idea to move the affected furniture on one side so that you know what area is inaccessible until it’s cleaned properly.
It’s important that you do all the laundry as soon as possible. If it came in contact with contaminated water, it would need to be disinfected. All the upholstery, carpets, bedding, etc. that cannot be disinfected would have to be discarded.
Go to your house and do the assessment keeping that in mind and start moving the stuff accordingly.
Meanwhile, work with other services to get other issues fixed like electricity, gas valves, and roof damage. Also, don’t forget that keeping your insurance company informed about all this is utterly necessary.
That’s how you can start working on this stressful job that must be done. The more you delay, the more you’ll pay. So, act quickly and stay active. You’ll get through it.