What to Do When Your House Floods: Emergency Flood Cleanup

A large home in the middle of a flood

House floods can be caused by natural disasters or plumbing leaks. Either way, they can be extremely damaging and can cause loss of home and property. Because flood cleanup needs to be completed quickly, it’s important to get professional help as soon as possible.

Flood damage needs to be mitigated within 48 hours to avoid the growth of unhealthy mold. This means you’ll need help almost immediately removing water and starting the drying process.

If you’ve got flooding in your home, whether it’s natural or because of a leak, there are some steps you can take to make it safer until help arrives.

What to Do If Your House Floods

If you are in an emergency there’s one thing to do: evacuate. If possible, turn off your utilities before leaving. The following steps are assuming that you are in a safe situation, such as a plumbing emergency or long after a small flood from the weather.

Step One: Stop the water if possible (during plumbing-related emergencies).

The first step in dealing with flooding is to stop the source of water, if possible. If a plumbing leak is the cause of the flooding, you’ll need to find your main water shutoff valve and turn the water off. It’s a good idea to know where your shutoff is and how to operate it before an emergency occurs.

Step Two: Turn off the electricity.

If you’ve got water in your home, turn off the electricity to the affected area or your whole home. Since electricity and water don’t mix, this will keep the people in your home and workers safe. You can turn off circuit breakers to the affected rooms or completely shut down power to keep electricity from causing a fire.

Step Three: Document the damage.

Insurance companies will want photographs to document the damage. Take photos during the flood, if it is safe to do so, and after the water recedes to document the full extent of the damage.

Step Four: Seal off the flood from traveling to other rooms.

Secure the room or area where the flood is located. You can seal off doors and windows in the area to make sure that no additional water enters or causes damage in other areas of your house.

Step Five: Increase airflow and remove (only uncontaminated) water if possible.

Determine what kind of water is causing the flood. If it’s a plumbing leak, determine if it’s freshwater or contaminated. If it’s contaminated water or natural floodwater, you’ll need to wear proper protective gear while in or near it. This includes boots, gloves, and eyewear to protect you. Do not attempt to remove water if the water is contaminated. Contact a professional.

Who do you call when your house floods?

The first place to call is your utility company to get all your utilities shut off, if needed.

Then you’ll want to call your insurance company and start a claim. They’ll let you know what types of repairs your policy covers and what your deductible will be. They may also give you additional instructions on what to do to process your claim.

Next, call a local restoration contractor. They can help with water removal, debris cleanup and the rebuilding process. Due to the nature of flood damage, you’ll want to call as soon as possible so you can mitigate mold damage before it happens.

The Flood Restoration Process

  • Once you hire a restoration contractor, they’ll help you begin the process of rebuilding.
  • Flood damage restoration starts with removing as much water as possible from your home. If it’s a natural flood, you may have to wait for the waters to recede. For plumbing leaks and similar damage, the company will use pumps to remove as much water as possible.
  • Next, they’ll begin removing damaged furniture and belongings. These items may be heavier due to added water weight, so it’s not advisable to do this yourself.
  • Then the experts will use various types of equipment to extract any remaining water. This equipment includes wet vacs and other equipment to vacuum up the remaining moisture.
  • Demolition will begin once the water has been removed. Wet building materials such as floors, walls, and doors will be removed as needed to avoid mold growth.
  • The next phase is drying out your home. Equipment such as fans, dehumidifiers and air scrubbers will be used to dry the space and remove odors caused by the flooding.
  • The final step is to begin rebuilding, once all the damage has been removed, the home has been dried out and everything has received a thorough cleaning.

Know When to Call Professionals for Flood Cleanup

A flood can be traumatizing but attempting to fix many of these issues yourself can be both difficult and dangerous. Once you and your family are safe, it’s best to contact a flood restoration contractor to assist with the cleanup and rebuilding. Since there’s such a short time period to work in, having a crew of professionals onsite will prevent ongoing water damage and mold growth.

Whether it’s your whole home that’s damaged or you just need small basement flooding repair, contact Metrolina Restoration for emergency flood services to get your home cleaned up quickly.

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