If you own a home with a basement, there is 98% chance that you will experience some water damage at some point while you own the home. It has been estimated that at least 14,000 people suffer from a water damage emergency at work or at home every day in the United States. Around the country, nearly 10% of all homes have leaks that cause the loss of 90 gallons of water a day per leak. Residential flooding is a big issue and one of the most widespread natural disasters in the country. The only things that causes more damage are wildfires and it has been estimated that 90% of the natural disasters, classified as such by the president, involve some degree of flooding.
You have a residential flooding issue, you may not know what to do. Here are some tips to help you deal with the situation after a flood.
- Cut off the power to the area. If you can access it, you should cut off the circuit breaker. If your residential flooding is limited to a small area of your home or a room, unplug anything that is plugged in. That includes all of your devices and appliances. You need to make sure the impacted parts of your homes have the electricity cut. It is not safe to go into the area until the power is cut off to those areas.
- Remove your stuff. Get as many of your belongings out of the area as you can. Any furniture, rugs or carpet need to be taken out of the area that has been impacted by the residential flooding. Depending on the extent of the water damage, it may be possible for the carpet to be saved but this will require some disinfecting and professional cleaning. Often carpets shrink after a flood. Water damage repair experts know how to handle furniture, rugs, carpets and drapery after such an event impacts them so you may be able to save more than you think.
- Remove the water. There are several ways you can get the water out of the are. You can use a wet vac, these are available for rental at many hardware stores. Be careful about where you choose to plus this appliance in to a power outlet. If your entire area has been impacted by a large residential flooding event, there may not be any power. If that is the case, you can deal with your water clean up manually. It will take more effort but you can use buckets, towels and mops to remove the water from the area. Make sure the area sewers are not backed up and if they are clear, you can pour the water into the drains in your home. If your home is too badly flooded to get rid of the water with these methods, you can look into renting a sump pump or hire a home water removal service. The important thing is to get the water out of your home.
- Get the area as dry as you can. After the water has been removed, you can bring fans and even a dehumidifier in to get rid of moisture that has been left over from the flood event. If the weather is good, opening your windows can help dry the area. The more air you can have flowing in and out, the better the drying out process will be.
- Prevent or remove mold. Mold and mildew can start to grow very quickly. The spores are in the air all around us all of the time. There are products you can buy to get rid of any mold that has started to grow. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified thousands of kinds of mold and they are all dangerous for human health. If you have mold in your home after a flood, you may want to bring in a mold remediation company.
If you own your own home, it is in your best interest to have a plan for what you will do if you have a flood. These happen a lot more often than most people realize and a plan will help.