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Your step-by-step checklist of what to do after a flood

Flooding, whether it’s caused by a burst water pipe, problems with the sewer (disgusting!), or heavy rain, is a disaster that needs to be dealt with quickly. They say the first 48 hours are crucial in crime detection. When it comes to a flooded home, it’s the first 24 hours.

This checklist of what to do if your home is flooded will make sure you keep damage and clean-up costs to a minimum – as well as guaranteeing maximum payout from your insurance provider.

What to do if your home is flooded: the first 24 hours

#1: Stay safe

If the flooding is severe, you may be forced to leave your home. Whether or not this is the case, you must put your safety first. As a minimum precaution:

  • Turn off the electricity
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Don’t eat any food that may have been contaminated by flood water

#2: Find the source of the flood and stop the water

If possible, stop the flood water from flowing. Locate the source and deal with it as soon as you can. Turn off the water supply, isolate the issue, and repair it if needed.

The sooner the water stops flowing, the less damage will be caused, and the sooner you can begin cleaning up.

#3: Collect photographic evidence

Before starting the clean-up, gather plenty of photographic evidence and make a written ‘report’ of the flooding and damage caused. Your smartphone or tablet is perfect for this, as digital copies are easy to send to your insurer.

#4: Secure your property

You will be responsible for any further damage to your property, so before doing anything more, you must secure your property. If windows are broken, the roof is damaged, or doors are hanging off, act as soon as possible to make your home secure. Take photos of before and after (your insurer will want to see these, too).

This doesn’t mean you have to do this work yourself, but you should set in motion the actions needed to secure your property against further damage and trespassing.

#5: Contact your insurer

With your home protected, now is the time to contact your insurance company. An adjuster will be sent to assess the damage. The sooner you contact your insurer, the sooner they will pay out.

Seek permission to begin he clean-up process as early as possible – this is where that photographic evidence is essential. Take photos of everything you do before, during, and after doing it.

What to do if your home is flooded: the next steps

#6: Remove the water and dry out your home

This is likely to require specialist equipment – pumps and fans and dehumidifiers, for example. Once all the water has been removed, you will need to dry out all your furniture, fixtures, and fittings. Until your home is completely dry, don’t be tempted to turn the power back on.

#7: Continue the clean-up

The clean-up process starts with water removal and drying out. You will need to determine what can be salvaged, and what is beyond repair. It’s best to hire a professional cleaning and restoration company to do this. They may need to:

  • Remove flooring, walls, and insulation
  • Take measures to eliminate and prevent mold
  • Take furniture off-site to dry and restore
  • Hire roll-off dumpsters to take away damaged and removed items

Other repairs that may need to be made include electrics, water pipes, windows, roofs, doors, etc. Carpets will probably need to be replaced.

A flood can happen in moments. It can take a long time to clean up and return your home to how it was. The best way to keep this time to a minimum and ensure an effective clean-up is made is to hire a professional cleaning and restoration company. Make sure your insurance policy covers all damage and cleaning. Then get permission to start the clean-up using a professional company near you.

If your home has been flooded in the NJ area, contact Porter's Cleaning. We’ll provide a free, no-obligation quote, so you can compare against others and start getting your life back to normal as soon as possible.

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