Regardless of where you live, you could be affected by flooding at any time. In an effort to raise awareness of the hazards associated with floods, March 14-18 has been designated Flood Safety Awareness Week.
According to NOAA’s National Weather Service, flooding causes more damage than any other severe weather-related event, averaging $5 billion each year. If you find yourself dealing with the after-effects of flood, follow these steps to start the flood recovery process:
- Contact Your Insurance Company. Your insurance can help guide you through the process of filing a claim, documenting the damage, and starting the cleanup process.
- Enter with Caution. Following a flood, your home and property could be hazardous to enter. Survey the area for cracks in the foundation, gas leaks, broken power lines, leaking chemicals, and other issues before going into your home.
- Remove Wet Contents Immediately. Within 24 to 48 hours, mold can begin growing on furniture, bedding, and other upholstered items. These items should be removed from the wet environment as soon as possible, cleaned, and dried thoroughly to prevent serious mold issues from developing.
- Extract Water. Floodwater in your home should be removed as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your property and illnesses that can result from standing water and a moist environment. A heavy-duty water pump is exceptionally effective for eliminating unhealthy floodwater in your home. Contact a water damage restoration professional to help you assess the damage and create a plan of action for removing the water.
- Ventilate and Dry. Once the immediate threat of standing floodwater has been reduced or eliminated, it’s time to start drying out your home. Using a high-performance air mover is a great way to expedite the drying process. For even more help drying carpets, carpet pads, walls, and floors, try a commercial-grade dehumidifier, such as the Dri-Eaz DrizAir 1200. This dehumidifier can remove up to 15 gallons of moisture each day from your environment. Dehumidification also helps prevent musty odors caused by mold and mildew growth
- Clean and Disinfect. After the major flood damage is under control, you can begin cleaning your home and returning it to a healthy state. Disinfecting areas of your home affected by floodwater is imperative since this water often leaves behind bacteria, germs, and other illness-causing particles. For quick, effective disinfection of surfaces, use a steam cleaner to get your home sparkling clean without the use of harmful chemical cleaners.
- Restore Your Indoor Air Quality. Physical surfaces aren’t the only aspects of your home affected by flooding. Water damage also takes a toll on your indoor air quality thanks to mold growth, bacteria presence, and other indoor air pollutants. Adding an air purifier to your home is a great way to ensure that your family stays safe and healthy after the flood.