If the worst happens, you need to be prepared. What steps should you take immediately after a flood? When the water goes down, and you’re facing a home filled with river scum and water damage, how do you proceed? It’s important to plan ahead, and we’ve compiled a list of the three most important steps for homeowners after a flood. Remember to take care of yourself and your family first before reaching out to insurance providers or mitigation services.
Get to Safety
Your safety and your family’s safety should be your first concern. Even after flood waters recede, your home may not be safe. Mold takes little time to spread, and post-flood environments provide everything a hungry spore needs to create a major hazard. Dangerous refuse like broken glass and metal may hide in the sediment left over the floors. The water’s force could even jeopardize your home’s structure. It’s especially important to keep children out of flood-damaged homes, as water damage creates endless opportunities for disease and harmful mold. Until you secure water mitigation and restoration services, you need to find alternate lodgings. You may have family in the area, or your insurance may provide funds to cover hotel costs while professionals make your home habitable again.
Contact Your Insurance
Ideally, you already know what your insurance does and does not cover. Essentially all plans that cover water damage include water mitigation services, but your insurance may limit your choice of providers. You may also enjoy additional benefits, such as reimbursement for alternate lodging and storage for any undamaged, removable property.
Even if you do know these details, contact your insurance provider as soon as you are safe. In order to help, your provider needs details and information only you can provide. Your provider may suggest highly reputable mitigation and restoration services for you to consider. This is the first step to returning your life to normal.
Hire Appropriate Services
You may or may not choose to go with your insurance’s recommended services. Most plans cover your choice, so make sure you choose a water mitigation and restoration service that provides what you need rather than a service that just suits your insurance provider. You pay your insurance premiums for a reason, so make sure you get the services you need when you need them. Check a service’s reviews and history to see if they’ve ever worked in your neighborhood. Look over additional services, like mold remediation, which you will probably need in addition to water mitigation. Be sure your chosen services have a nearby base of operations, because the sooner mitigation services step in, the less damage you will face.
Plan ahead to limit damage and ensure your family’s protection. Make sure to include a copy of your insurance information in any emergency go-bag, and figure out where you will go if your home becomes uninhabitable before disaster strikes. Always read your insurance policy carefully, and check local mitigation and restoration services before you need them. Even drawing up a short list of insurance benefits and potential mitigation services can help more than you’d expect. Remember, safety always comes first.