Flooding can affect properties for many reasons, including clogged pipes, damaged plumbing systems, and major storms. Whatever the cause of the flooding, recovery generally requires the efforts of professional flood damage cleanup service technicians. Many property owners get right to work, attempting to complete recovery efforts on their own. In the course of that work, some common mistakes crop up.
- Waiting too long to take appropriate actions
- Tracking contaminated water into unaffected areas of the property
- Not recognizing hazards, such as electrocution, submerged dangers, exposure to bacteria, gas leaks
- Using the wrong products and techniques during the cleanup
- Missing hidden damages
Sadly, the most serious mistake property owners make is not preparing for potential flooding. Simple steps, such as making sure your insurance is up to date, saving contact numbers in your phone, and establishing escape routes can save you from a lot of upheaval when flooding does happen.
Determine Whether Evacuation Is Necessary
When your property is affected by flooding, contact a professional flood damage cleanup service company. These professionals often work with insurance companies to provide appropriate recovery services. If the flooding is the result of a major storm, stay out of the area until the proper authorities say you can return. Carry emergency supplies with you and pay attention to established emergency procedures.
Shut Down All of the Utilities on the Property
Before you turn your property over to cleanup professionals, there are several steps you should take. The first is turning off all utilities on the property. Shut them off at the primary power switch, the water main, and the primary gas valve. Because of the threat of electrocution, wear rubber boots and gloves before handling the power switches or stepping into the water.
Store Unaffected Belongings Away From Water
The second step is gathering any family heirlooms and personal valuables. You can take some of these items with you, as you feel necessary. The rest of the items should be safely stored in upper floors of the property where water and humidity haven’t reached.
Secure Property From Further Damages
Next, secure your property. If flooding is related to storms, board up windows and check locks around buildings to prevent unauthorized access. You may also need to take steps to direct water away from your property by filling sandbags and stacking them. This step takes time, but it may reduce the length of the recovery period.
If storms weren’t the cause of your flooding, you may consider renting a storage unit to move non-affected furnishings away from your property. The advantages of this step include allowing recovery professionals a clear path to the affected rooms and protecting furnishings from secondary damages.
Share Contact Information
During the cleanup and restoration of your property, you’ll have many conversations with recovery technicians and your insurance company. There may be local authorities, utility companies, and adjusters who want to communicate with you. It’s important to save the contact information of each of these parties, and it’s crucial that everyone can get in touch with you.
Some Final Safety Tips
As you prepare to leave your property, use the following dos and don’ts to maintain safety:
- Do wear protective, safety gear anytime you enter the property.
- Do throw out all exposed food, drinks, and medications.
- Do take photos and videos of the damage for your insurance company.
- Do be aware of snakes and other intruders that could have come in with the water.
- Don’t enter buildings before utilities are shut down.
- Don’t walk through the water.
- Don’t take unnecessary risks.
Remember that professional flood damage cleanup service providers have extensive training and the right equipment to deal with flooding and water damage. Call United Water Restoration to handle the cleanup and recovery efforts on your property.