Flooded House? Here’s What to Do
Where do you start when you have a flooded house? Here in Florida, house flooding is unfortunately common, especially when you factor in environmental factors. For those of us living in coastal cities, flooding is one of the most common hazards we face. But that doesn’t mean that flooding always happens during a hurricane or heavy rain. In any case, having a plan and knowing what to do can save you a lot of stress and money in the event of a house flood.
Find the Source
The first thing you should do after discovering a flooded house is to find the source of the flooding. Sometimes it’s obvious, but other times it will require the help of a professional. There are only two sources of flooding:
Often, flooding can begin inside your home without you knowing until it’s too late. Whether it’s a broken appliance, burst pipe, or leaky plumbing connection, the flooding can start to accumulate slowly. If you notice mold spots, sagging floors, or a damp smell with no apparent source, you should immediately call a leak detection specialist. There’s no point in starting to dry or repair without knowing the source, and a professional will have access to technology that can find the leak so they can repair it before moving on to the next steps.
The most common exterior source for a flooded house in Florida is the weather, but there are some areas around your house that you can check to lower the chances. Most often, leaks are attributed to a cracked foundation, improper drainage, clogged gutters, or faulty roofing. Unfortunately, sometimes our extreme weather causes flooding even if you do take precautions and have an intact home. If your house does flood during a hurricane, it’s important to evacuate immediately. Flood water carries harmful bacteria that can be damaging to your health, so be sure to look after yourself and your family first.
Begin the Drying Process
Once you know the source of the flooding and can stop it, the next step is to start the drying process. The faster you can dry out your home and belongings, the better the chance that some of them can be salvaged. The process of structural drying will depend on the extent of the flooding and can include fans, dehumidifiers, and moisture meters to monitor your house and belongings while everything dries. In many instances, acting fast can save your personal items from destruction using these techniques.
Document the Damage
One thing you want to do right from the start of the flooding is to document everything. Not all insurance companies cover flooding, so if you don’t specifically have flood coverage, you should know which events will be covered. Typically, your home insurance covers flooding in the event that the cause of the water damage is something that your insurance does cover. For example, a faulty appliance is covered under most insurance policies. Make sure you know your policy’s coverage and find a water damage repair service that can work directly with your insurance company to avoid any headaches.
Check for Mold
Mold and water in a flooded house go hand in hand. The most concerning thing is that mold can often cause more damage than the flooding itself. Mold begins growing and spreading within 48-72 hours of exposure. It can eat away at drywall, subfloor, carpet, and even the wood beams inside your house. It’s a good idea to find a water damage service that also specializes in mold so they can act fast and detect the problem. The hazards of mold won’t go away just because the flooding is taken care of, so it’s important to find and eliminate the mold quickly. If left alone, mold will spread to other areas of your home, causing more damage and requiring more repairs.
Structural & Cosmetic Repairs
Once your home is dry and mold-free, it’s time to start repairs. Some sort of repair is almost always required, and it helps to have someone who knows what to look out for after a flood. Especially if there’s mold damage, replacing the damaged structures is crucial to keep your home safe long after repairs are complete. In addition, taking care of the repairs right after flooding prevents more costly repairs down the line that might be more invasive. For example, replacing drywall, flooring, cabinets, and any other areas that could cause future issues might be necessary.
Who to Call After a Flooded House
At iMold, we understand the devastation of water damage after a flood. That’s why we offer an all-in-one service that includes structural drying, mold detection, and repairs completed by our licensed contractor. Contact us for 24/7 emergency response. We’ll be there within 30 minutes to begin working right away on removing water and preventing further damage so you can get back home faster.