Water’s spurting across your basement, soaking carpets, bookcases, beds, and electronics. Or, maybe it’s rising up from the street as floodwaters pour into your home. What should you do?
If water starts flooding into your home, you need to take quick action. Read on to learn all about what to do when your house floods.
- Turn Off the Electricity
If you can reach your circuit breakers without stepping in water, turn off the electricity to the affected area. Otherwise, you might get shocked by stepping in puddles that are touching the electrical system. Water can also damage wiring, outlets, and fixtures.
- Stop the Source of the Water
If the water is coming from somewhere inside the house, try to turn off the source of the water. For instance, if you see water leaking from a faucet or a toilet, turn off the water supply. If the leak is coming from somewhere inside the walls or someplace without a local supply line, shut off the home’s main water valve.
- Leave Your Home
If you can’t stop the water source, or if your home is being soaked by rising floodwaters, leave the home. Once you’ve reached a safe area, start calling for help.
- Call Your Insurance Company
When you have a flooded home, call your insurance company right away. Your insurance company can tell you what steps to take next, and can recommend a water damage restoration service to start cleaning up the mess.
Since some homeowner policies don’t cover floodwater damage, you should always read the fine print on your insurance policy. If you own a home in a flood plain, make sure that your policy covers flood damage, or buy additional coverage to protect your home in case of flooding. You can shop for flood insurance on sites like Betterflood.com.
- Contact Water Damage Restoration Service
If you need help controlling the flooding or cleaning up the water damage, call a restoration company. Your insurance company can recommend one, but you are also free to choose your own. Make sure you get a written estimate and a description of what will be covered, because your insurance company may refuse to pay for work that seems unnecessary.
- Document Damage
Before restoration work starts, pull out your camera and document the flood damage. Take pictures of the entire area so that you can show how much damage has been caused. Make sure to take pictures of individual items and any repair processes.
- Clean Up
If you have to clean up the mess yourself, wear protective clothing, throw away anything that has absorbed water, and make sure to disinfect surfaces. The Red Cross provides a comprehensive guide on how to clean up after a flood.
Learn What to Do When Your House Floods
Since you have a limited amount of time to react in a flooding emergency, make sure you know beforehand what to do when your house floods. Then you’ll be able to stay calm as you make the area safe, call for help, and track the damage. Taking steps right away will help you protect your home and claim the maximum insurance benefit so that you can restore your house as soon as possible.
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