Home Floods? Don’t Panic
It can be very frightening and overwhelming when your home floods or is affected by mold, smoke, or fire. After all, your home is a big investment, and it is intended to be a safe haven for you and your family. When that feeling is lost, it can be devastating, and you may not know what to do to fix the problem. Luckily, there are companies around the country that focus specifically on water damage repair, flood cleanup, fire damage cleanup, mold removal, and more. These companies can help you during this difficult time so you can get back on your feet and enjoy really living in your home again. Here are the steps you should take as soon as you notice damage to your home.
Make sure everyone is safe.
Serious damage to your home can make it unliveable, so you’ll want to make sure that all of your home’s residents are safe and away from the damage. In many cases, this may mean that you have to evacuate for a period of time. You can stay with a friend or family member, or stay in a hotel if your home insurance will cover that expense. If the damage is not too serious, you may be able to block off that area of your home, but you’ll need to be very diligent about making sure that no one goes near the area.
Make sure everyone is healthy.
The next thing to check once you have made sure that all residents of your home are safe is to make sure they are healthy as well. This is especially important if your home has incurred mold or smoke damage. Mold can cause serious illness if you are exposed to it for too long, and smoke inhalation can cause damage to the lungs. Check and make sure that no one in your family is feeling sick, and if you notice any problems, be sure to take them to an urgent care right away instead of letting things fester.
Shut off the power and water in the affected areas.
This is extremely important, especially when dealing with water damage or basement flooding. If you keep the water on, things will continue to clog or burst, causing even more water damage, which can lead to mold and rot. This can also happen if you leave water on in an area that is affected by serious fire damage. You should also shut off the power lines and disconnect all electronics in the affected area. This is because the water can cause a dangerous reaction with the electricity and shock the next person that enters the room. Your repair company will likely go through the house and turn off everything for you when they come to work, but it can’t hurt to do it yourself, just to be safe. You don’t want to incur any additional damage to your home unnecessarily.
Contact your home insurance company.
This is an essential first step to getting your repairs taken care of. There’s a good chance that your insurance company will cover most of the bill for the repairs, so you’ll need to contact them right away and make a claim. Be sure to provide as much evidence as possible of the damage, such as photographs, videos, documents, and more. Better evidence will help you get more money back. Your insurance company may also be able to give you a recommendation for a water damage cleanup, smoke damage repair, or flood cleanup company as needed, but be sure to take these recommendations with a grain of salt. Insurance companies will often just suggest the cheapest option for repair services, which may not give you the best quality service.
Make a list of home damage repair companies in your area.
Now that you’ve contacted your insurance and made sure that your family is safe, the next step is to find a company to help you repair the damage to your home. There are likely many companies that service your area, so start putting together a list so you can do research. Use a variety of different methods to find potential repair companies – ask friends and family, search online directories, and even go through an old-fashioned phone book. Once you’ve made your list, start narrowing down your choices. Some companies you will be able to eliminate because they don’t offer the exact services that you need, and others you should eliminate based on quality. Be extremely wary of companies that aren’t certified in damage repair or that only offer one or two types of services. This is often a sign that they aren’t fully qualified to take on your project.
Set a budget and get quotes.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to two or three damage repair companies, contact them and ask for a consultation. This will give you a better idea of their level of service and help you decide if you feel comfortable with them. During these consultations, the company will typically review with you the level of damage that your home has incurred, and then offer you a quote for the service. It is very helpful to go into these meetings with a pre-set budget. Your insurance company may have already given you one, but if you are willing to pay a little extra out of your own pocket, you’ll likely get better quality service. Compare quotes from different companies and determine what is going to give you the best value for money. Keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better, because if the repair isn’t done right, you’ll just end up spending more money on even more repairs in the future. You’ll also want to steer clear of any companies that don’t offer you a quote or ask you to pay money up front, as this is usually a sign of a scam, or at the very least poor quality service.
Let your repair service team do their job.
Now that you’ve hired a team, it’s finally time to let them come in and repair your home. Every service is going to be slightly different, depending on what your personal needs are, but there are a few basic things that you can expect during the process. It is important during this time that you give the team space to work. They will be able to get your home back to its original state within a few days, so be sure to give them what they need to work. Here’s the general process that they will use during that time.
- They will start off by removing the damaged materials.
This may include rotten or moldy drywall, flooded carpet, damaged furniture, and more. This can take quite a while, as the team will have to go through several layers of material, but is extremely important for the health of your home. Once all the damage has been removed, they can move on to the next step.
- If you are struggling with water damage, the next step for your home will be to drain it completely of its moisture. Your team will do that by using special draining techniques, as well as high power de-humidifiers to keep the moisture from condensing again. They will also remove any mold that may have grown in your home.
- The last step will be to get your home back to its original condition. The company will replace the carpeting, drywall, and other materials that they have removed. The higher quality service you choose, the closer your home will be to its original condition. In many instances, you may still lose things like a beloved piece of furniture, but your home will be liveable again, and you will be able to redecorate.
Take preventative measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Although there will be times when you don’t have any control over what’s happening in your home, such as during a strong storm, you should still take preventative measures to help keep your home in good condition. If you have struggled with mold and water damage, be sure to install items such as a sump pump, water sensors, and de-humidifiers to prevent water from condensing in your home and flooding. If you dealt with fire damage, be sure your smoke alarms are up to code, and get in the habit of monitoring any fire hazards carefully throughout your day. Talk to your water damage repair company or fire damage repair company. They will likely have plenty of suggestions for how you can do this.
Although home damage can be devastating, you can recover and get your home back in its original condition if you take action right away. Be sure to contact a repair company as soon as possible, make sure your family is safe, and talk to your insurance. This way, you will avoid any unnecessary health issues or financial charges, and you can get back to living your life in your home.