Water can cause a lot of damage to your home and threaten the safety of your family. Whether your home floods due to a broken water pipe or rising water outside, you may find yourself with extensive damage to your home and belongings. There are things that you can do before and after a flood to mitigate the amount of damage. Of course, your first priority should always be the safety of you and your family members. Here's a look at some steps to take. 

Tips to protect your home and family from a flood

If your home is located in an area prone to flooding or a large storm is headed your way, there are some things you can do before it arrives to protect your home. Here are a few tips:Flooded RoomMD.jpg

  • Have a plan. If you need to evacuate quickly, you need a plan to communicate with each family member and a place to meet if you get separated. Also, you might go ahead and pack one bag per family member with essentials. 
  • Protect your valuables by moving anything precious to the second floor or attic in your home. 
  • If possible, place your water heater and furnace on some sort of riser. When your home sits on a flood plain, you probably already have this done. 
  • You might want to install check valves on your plumbing to stop floodwater from coming into your home through the pipes. 
  • If you have flood insurance and any valuables that you can't move to higher ground, take photos and copies of the receipts.
  • Outdoor furniture needs to be brought inside the home along with things, such as bicycles and garden hoses.
  • Evacuate when you're ordered to go. When you leave, make sure to lock all the doors and windows.

Flooding can happen quickly so be prepared to leave with little time to plan. It's essential for your safety and your family to leave when authorities tell you to or you see rising water. 

Steps to take after a flood

Flooding can cause major damage to your home. Depending on the size of your home, the extent of flooding, and the methods used, it can take between 12 hours and a couple of weeks for your home to completely dry out after the water recedes. A crawl space dehumidifier can help your home dry out a little more quickly. Here are some steps to take after the flood.

1. Wait for officials to clear your home for your return

Structural damage due to flooding can create a dangerous situation. You want an official to give you the go-ahead to return your home to keep you and your family safe. Also, be aware of any moving water you encounter. It only takes six inches of swiftly moving water to knock you off your feet.

2. Turn off the power at the main breaker immediately

Water and electricity are a dangerous and deadly combination. Even if the flood has left your home without power, it's essential to go ahead and turn off the power at the main breaker in case the power returns. You want to make sure that you're standing on a dry surface when you do this. It's also a good idea to turn off any gas and water lines leading into your home. You don't see all the damage to your home, and there might be cracks in the pipes that could create more problems and damage. WomanStandingFloodMD.jpg

3. Take pictures of everything

Even if you don't have flood insurance, you want to document the damage done to your home due to flooding even if it's due to a burst pipe. You may need this proof for some other reason in the future, such as a lawsuit against the pipe manufacturer. A picture is worth a thousand words and much better than a written description. 

4. Call a professional

At AdvantaClean, we deal with floods and water damage every day. and have to know how to quickly dry your home out. From water extraction, drying, and mold remediation, you need to hire a local expert you can trust... 

5. Take steps to save wood furniture

If you have expensive or keepsake wood furniture, you need to move immediately to mitigate the worst of the damage. You need to move the pieces of wood furniture you want to save to a dry, dark place. Sunshine will warp the wood as it dries. Remove drawers and other accessible pieces to allow them to dry separately. You want to let the pieces dry completely before sanding and staining them again. 

6. Document the damage

As the cleanup begins, you want to document the damage with either photos or videos. You want to make sure to take photos of any visible serial numbers and visible damage to the structure of your home. Anything that you think you can claim on your insurance needs to be documented. 

7. Contact your insurance company

If you have flood insurance or the water damage isn't due to a natural disaster, you'll need to start a claim. You may find that your insurance company is inundated with claims if it's a natural disaster. This makes it essential to start the process as soon as you can. Your insurance agent can advise you to keep or dispose of certain items so you get the maximum amount.

When you find your home water-logged, you need to call a professional to help begin the restoration process. Your home needs to dry out before you can begin repairs. If you can get it dried out quickly, you can avoid massive growths of mold. At AdvantaClean, we have the skills and equipment to help you get your home back in shape. Contact us for an appointment or to discuss the restoration process.

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