One hears about flooding and water damage of homes occasionally. It may be something from a geyser burst or natural flood, but what to do? Below are a few key points to keep in mind.
It is largely dependent on the extent of the damage. Do an immediate safety survey as best you can before re-entering. Once entry is gained ensure electrical power is off at the main board, turn off all water supplies. As you know these two combined are lethal. Find torches and dry clothes.
Reporting the incident
If you are insured report the damage immediately. They may wish to send an assessor out. Ask the insurance company exactly what your cover extends to. Make detailed notes and take as many photographs of the damage in the event of any disputes with insurance. Clarify first with insurance that you may begin the clean up.Drying out and clean up
Get definite clearance from your insurance company first. They may just want to assess first with necessary people i.e. a damp proofing specialist. Priority is to get as much water out as soon as possible. This is to prevent further damage, mould and smell, mould can begin within 24 – 48 hours. Dependant on quantity, a sump pump or one of those water sucking vacuum type machines will be required. Damp walls will take a lot of time to dry. Be sure no water is sitting underneath the house to cause rising damp, which will result in damp treatment later.
Cruel & kind
For health reasons you don’t want mould to be in your house. And you’ll never get rid of the smell. Furniture that has been waterlogged will not be salvageable. Certain items such as carpets and rugs may be. It is vital that you take photographs before discarding items for insurance purposes. Discard items that are beyond repair.
If the home is beyond liveable, explore with your insurance company what alternatives can be made. This would be until proper restoration has been completed.
More about flood insurance and different types of insurance cover.