Whether caused by heavy rains, a sea surge, a burst pipe or even the fire service putting out a fire, flooding and related water damage can be extremely unpleasant and upsetting to deal with. Fortunately, restoration experts can make it easier. Here are a few of our tips on what to do immediately after a flood.
Water damage can cause structural issues, electrical faults, problems with gas, heating oil and HVAC systems, and water can cause diseases, particularly if contaminated with sewage or toxic chemicals. In addition, some problems may be well hidden or only appear as things start to dry out (plaster may fall as it dries for example). For this reason, the most important thing to do is to stay safe. Do not re-enter your property until told you can do so and have all systems checked over by qualified professionals even if you don’t think they were affected.
Even before you can re-enter the property, you can contact your insurance provider. They may be able to offer advice on steps to take, flood damage restoration teams to work with and what to document to ensure that your claim is processed quickly and without any issues. Documenting the situation, through photographs and written records (for example of what you have had to throw away) and retaining invoices can all make the process easier.
Get professional advice
A professional assessment of the flood damage and risks to the property is always best. A professional should be able to advise if specialist drying is required (this is more often the case than many people realise) as well as providing accurate information to your insurance company. Your insurers may provide someone or you may choose to have your own assessment made. Remember, even hidden damp can quickly cause mould and health problems if not treated so simply being unable to see any water does not mean your property is safe to live in.
Empty the property
Depending on the extent of the damage, you may want to empty the entire property or only an affected section. Emptying the property of both damaged and undamaged materials lets you do a triage to ensure that anything which can be rescued is tackled quickly (as an example, if there is standing water or damp, items will continue to deteriorate so may become damaged). At this time you can also assess the level of repairs required.
Arrange for any repairs you cannot do yourself
Flood recovery services cover everything from pumping water out and drying rooms through cleaning sewage leaks to organizing painting and decorating. Depending on your budget, you may choose to do some of the repair work yourself, however it is vital that you ensure all safety critical systems, such as electric wiring, HVAC systems, boilers, oil powered heating systems, gas cookers and pipes, electrical appliances and even plumbing are checked and tested by qualified professionals before use.
If you need expert help or advice after a flood or water damage, get in touch with our team today.