Preventing Further Damage After a Flood
Flooding at your Austin, TX, home can cause major problems. Fortunately, flood insurance can help financially. If the flooding was widespread, you may not see an adjuster for a while. However, it is important to start the restoration process as soon as possible. The following steps outline the cleanup process:
1. Ensure safety. Floodwaters are dangerous, especially when electricity is involved. Turn off the power to your property so that you can work safely. If you cannot do this yourself, call an electrician for assistance.
2. Assess and document the damage. After local flooding, flood insurance companies will likely be very busy. This means they may not be able to send an adjuster to your property immediately. You will have to document the flood damage yourself so that you can begin the cleanup process and avoid further damage. Take photo or video evidence, being sure to capture as much detail as possible.
3. Dry the property. Making sure the property is completely dry is key to preventing further damage. Mold growth can begin within 24 hours, and water can cause permanent structural damage in certain items if left too long. Use pumps, specialized vacuums, or even buckets to remove the standing water. Then run fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the remaining water.
4. Clean and sanitize. Mold damage is not the only concern when it comes to flooding. The water itself is likely to contain bacteria and other contaminants, so it is important to properly sanitize all affected items. Fortunately, there are a variety of cleaners available, so you can choose the ones most appropriate for the items you are cleaning.
5. Repair and replace damaged items. All items that cannot be fully cleaned and dried should be thrown away to prevent further contamination. Other items may be restorable. In some cases, homeowners can do their own repairs, but delicate items often require professional restoration.
Flood insurance can financially help homeowners, but many will need assistance with the cleanup process. Fortunately, an experienced restoration service can get homes to preloss condition quickly and safely.