What you do immediately following a flood is absolutely crucial, as flood damage restoration is a sensitive task. However, if the floods occur from a sewer backup or natural disaster, they are especially delicate and require special attention. The steps that you take will determine the depth of damage that you will have to deal with. Unfortunately, if it is dealt with improperly, you could be looking at permanent water damage.
There are 3 types of water damage that you could be dealing with during a flood. Clean water is water that is safe for you to be around, such as well water, purified water, and city water. Gray and black water is where the danger lies, as both types require safety equipment and proper knowledge to be dealt with appropriately. Gray water is untreated, used water from sinks, washing machines, and showers, while black water is from a sewer backup or natural floods. Both types of water can cause serious illnesses, so it is imperative to be aware of the pollution level from the source of the flood. No matter the type of water damage, all can cause severe harm to your property. For this reason, it’s important to manage leaks the right way so that they don’t compromise your property or your health.
If you are experiencing only a small amount of water damage, you may be tempted to begin the flood damage restoration process on your own. However, it is always safer to hire an expert to recover from a flood. If you are going to attempt it, there are a few things to ensure that you never do.
The safety of you and everyone on the property is more important than any cleanup process. Using electrical equipment can be extremely dangerous as water and electricity are a lethal combination. Never use any sort of vacuum to extract water from the property or turn on any fan to speed up the drying process. Electrical sources in your home could be compromised and can administer a huge shock to your body. Until you know your property is safe, you’ll need to use an alternative power supply, such as a generator.
Even if it is safe to run electricity in your home, never run the HVAC system until all water damage is properly cleaned up. Unfortunately, any contamination present in your home, such as mold spores and bacteria, can be spread around with the use of the HVAC system. Moreover, these contaminants will be trapped in the HVAC filters and continue to spread even after all the water damage is cleaned up.
Historically, homeowners will have to deal with flood damage at least once in their life. Because of that, it is important to understand what to do.
Unless the flood has been caused by a natural occurrence, you will need to find the source of the water flow. The best way to do so is to find your main water valve and shut it off there. If you have to wade through water to do so, wear protective gear. If there is a chance that the water is charged, reach out to professionals to shut off the electricity. If your electrical box is located in an area that is safe, shut the electricity off on your own. If your home runs on natural gas, this will need to be shut off as well. A flood can create leaks in gas lines, which can prove to be very dangerous. Typically, this shut-off valve will be on the exterior of the house, attached to the meter and supply pipe.
When dealing with your home insurance, you will need to document evidence of both what happened and what has been lost. You will need to take a lot of pictures and notes to ensure that you get everything. Nothing is insignificant to note because you want to make sure all of your bases are covered.
Whether your insurance covers it or not, it is imperative to begin that cleanup process immediately. However, attempting to clean up flood damage on your own can be extremely dangerous. Within 24 hours, the problems will start to accumulate, including mold growth and structural damage. Flood damage restoration professionals at Clean Image Services will be able to help you precisely restore everything back to the way it was. Cleaning on your own can be a long and arduous process, and you may not be able to get everything cleaned up properly on your own. Either way, it’s important to get started on the process immediately to minimize any water damage done to your home.