Water damage after a flood can be devastating. Not only do you have to worry about the loss of your possessions, but there’s the added fear of the water causing permanent damage to your home. You home is not only where you and your family live, but an investment in and of itself.
While there’s oftentimes nothing you could have done to prevent the flood, there are often things you can do to minimize the amount of damage that occurs in the aftermath. If you’re dealing with a flood in your home, take a deep breath and keep reading this guide on what you should do next.
Turn Off The Electricity In Affected Areas
You probably don’t need to be told that electricity and water are a bad combination. Remember, water can carry an electrical current, which means that if the electricity is still on in a flooded area, you run the risk of serious injury. Shut off the power to any areas that have been flooded before you begin your attempts to salvage your belongings.
Open Windows If Possible
Some basements may not have windows that can be opened. However, if you do have windows open in any areas that have been flooded, open them. You want to get as much airflow to these areas as possible. Of course, don’t open any windows if it’s still raining outside.
Start Grabbing Electronics
The sad truth of the matter is that most electronics will not be salvageable if they’ve been submerged in water. However, it’s still a good idea to pull all the electronics from the area and put them somewhere where they can dry out. Never attempt to test an electronic if you think there’s even a chance that there might still be water inside. You want to let all electronics sit in a well-ventilated area for at least 72 hours before you try to test them. Some items, although broken, may be able to be sold for parts.
Set Up Some Fans
Once the area has dried off sufficiently, you can restore power and begin setting up some fans in the area, which will help to accelerate the time it takes for the area to dry. Remember, don’t set up any fans in any areas where there’s still a significant amount of water, as this can be dangerous.
Start Hauling Out Trash
Sadly, you might find yourself with many belongings that are a total loss. It’s time to start hauling these items out to the curb. When you’re dealing with a flooded area, you want to minimize the amount of fabrics and anything that holds moisture. Take waterlogged furniture out of the room so that more air can circulate.
Most floodwater is filthy. While some floodwater may occasionally just be rainwater, most floodwater is the result of sewers backing up into your home. This means that it’s time to sanitize your floors, walls and ceilings. Even if you’re typically a fan of green and natural cleaners, this is definitely a job that calls for bleach. Bleach will kill the bacteria that could potentially cause health problems for you and your family. Just be careful and wear gloves, as bleach is highly corrosive.
Get The Opinion Of An Expert
It’s a good idea to have an expert come in and survey your home after you’re done with your cleanup. An expert will be able to tell you if there are any areas that pose a risk for black mold or other problems. Don’t just go with the first expert whose website tells you to “click here.” Instead, do your research and find someone with solid reviews. If it turns out that there are further complications, you can take action to prevent them from becoming more serious.
A flood can be devastating, but the most important thing is that you and your family are safe. Remember, just about every belonging can be replaced and water eventually dries. If you follow these steps, you can clean up the damage caused by a flood and get to work on restoring your home to its former glory.