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6 Tips for Flooded House Repairs

Protect your home and family and maximize your insurance payment when you have to deal with a flooded house repair. Follow these tips for flooded house repair in the initial 24 hours of a flood, regardless of whether it is caused by groundwater, falling water, or a malfunctioning home water system.

Avoid Additional Risks Before Starting Flooded House Repairs

Before entering your home, carefully inspect for any visible structural damage such as warping, cracks, holes, or loosened foundation elements. If you suspect water damage to the water, gas, electric, or sewer lines, contact the respective utility companies promptly. This is a direct warning from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) when dealing with flood water damage.

Additionally, Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez
, the author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Disaster Preparedness,” emphasizes the importance of taking precautions. Make sure you have a functional flashlight and turn off all water and electrical sources within the house. Even if the power is not working, it is advisable to switch off the main power in the electrical panel and disconnect all individual fuse connections. This precaution will prevent any potential hazards that may arise from mixing standing water and electricity, in case the power is restored.

Take Pictures of the Water Damage

Prior to starting any water extraction or repair activities, ensure thorough documentation of the damage for your insurer by capturing photographs and/or video footage. It is best to opt for digital formats as they can be conveniently stored electronically and duplicated effortlessly. According to Ramirez, commencing water removal or other flooded house repair without photographing the damage may potentially diminish the extent of water damage repair coverage provided by your insurance. Having plenty of evidence of the damage can help with water mitigation and accurately calculating repair costs. Additionally, having photos of the flood-damaged items can help you answer frequently asked questions by the insurance adjuster.

Protect Your Health from Contaminated Water

Although the water in your home may appear
as clean water, it is possible that it has been contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. Ramirez
suggests wearing waterproof boots such as waders or hip- or waist-high boots. Additionally, use rubber gloves when handling water-damaged items to protect yourself from contaminants, advises Ramirez. Remember to discard any food that may have been exposed to floodwater. According to FEMA
, it is recommended to boil water until authorities confirm that the water supply is safe.

Remove Water to Start Damage Restoration

After receiving approval from your insurer to remove the water you can start the cleanup process. Use a sump pump and a wet vac, both obtainable at hardware or home supply stores within the price range of $40 to $500. It is essential to note that water is weighty, with a cubic foot weighing approximately 10 lbs., thus exercise caution to prevent any injury while moving buckets of water up and down stairs. If feasible, open doors and windows to facilitate fresh air circulation.

Mitigate Mold Damage

This next flooded house repair tip is crucial. According to Ashley Small from FEMA, mold can start growing within a day or two after a flood occurs. Therefore, it’s crucial to promptly eliminate wet items such as carpets and bedding. If an item has been wet for less than 48 hours, there’s a chance it can be saved. However, you should assess its significance in terms of either monetary or sentimental value before making a decision. It’s important to inform your insurance company before removing any items to avoid any impact on your coverage. Remember to take photographs of the items affected by the flood.

For instance, rugs can undergo professional drying and cleaning, with costs ranging from $100 to $500 or higher, depending on their size and quantity. However, large furniture items that are heavily soaked may pose challenges for effective drying and might need to be disposed of.

To prevent mold growth on surfaces, you can clean them using a non-ammonia detergent or pine oil cleaner and disinfect them with a 10% bleach solution. However, it’s important to note that you should never mix ammonia and bleach products due to the potentially harmful fumes they can produce. Prior to using the solution, it’s best to test it on a small area to ensure it doesn’t cause any staining or fading.

Additionally, if you require assistance with flood restoration, you have various options to consider. You can locate a professional water damage cleanup company specializing in this field by referring to categories like “Flood” or “Disaster recovery” in your local phone book. Alternatively, you may want to explore reputable sources like the Better Business Bureau, the local Chamber of Commerce, or contractor recommendation websites such as or when searching for a restoration company. A quick Google search for restoration services can also help – just be sure to verify they are a legitimate business. It is advisable to prioritize service providers who possess the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification. A water restoration service can help clean up flood damage

Secure the Property

As the homeowner, it is your duty to safeguard your property to prevent further harm. Cover any broken windows with boards and secure a tarp if the roof is damaged to provide protection. Remember to capture photographs as evidence for the insurance company, demonstrating your proactive efforts to safeguard your home from additional damage.

If your home is habitable, it is important to prioritize safety for yourself and your family to prevent any potential injuries. One way to achieve this is by utilizing flashlights when navigating dark areas within the house. However, if your home is deemed uninhabitable, it is best to avoid staying there altogether. Instead, consider relocating to a shelter or finding an alternative location. Check with your insurer to see what benefits your insurance policy offer for temporary housing while your home undergoes repairs.

Looking to Sell?

Dealing with flooded house repairs is a lot! If you are not keen on spending the time to make the repairs, or if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of experiencing a flood without insurance, be sure to read about your options for selling a flood-damaged house. If you are ready to sell now for a fast closing and a fair, all-cash offer, fill out the form below and we will be in touch shortly!

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