Floods or burst pipes are common in many households. However, when the water subsides, the flood can result in a lot of damage to your home including your clothes, books, furniture, and more. There are also the dangers of getting electrocuted or getting health issues afterwards.
It’s best to call your insurers or landlords after a flood. Take photos and videos and make sure to document everything. After the documentation, clean-up and air dry your belongings to prevent further deterioration from mold and mildew. You should contact a Bethlehem water damage company since these disasters should be taken seriously. Get the experts’ help if you’re unsure of where to start. The pros have the tools and knowledge to help you clean everything up and restore some of your things.
Floods can be the result of accidents like plumbing failures or extreme weather conditions. Regardless of the water source, there are a lot of steps that you can take to save your belongings and the health of your family. You’ll be able to prevent health hazards and recoup some of the costs from your insurers as well with these tips.
What to Do During a Flood?
- Stop the Water Source
You might have to wait until the water subsides if the flood is an act of nature. However, if it’s because of a leaky pipe, you might have to look for the water source and seal it up.
Turn off the main valve of the house and fix any holes. If possible, avoid getting your home flooded by locating the damaged pipe or valve and getting them fixed as soon as possible. You might have a house that’s prone to floods, and if so, waterproof the walls or add elevation to your property before the rainy season comes.
- Unplug Appliances and Turn off the Electrical Panels
After stopping the source of water, you need to properly unplug all the appliances and turn off the electrical panels. However, you should not go to the fuse box and turn it off while you’re walking through the water, as this may electrocute you. If you can’t reach the main panel without stepping into the water, call an electrician immediately.
The flood may be caused by a sewage leak or a burst pipe. If so, evacuate your home immediately. Find a safe and dry spot on the upper floors or get rescued. Go to your friend’s house or a shelter for the meantime. Ensure that the pets and kids are unhurt during the evacuation process and come back at a later time.
When natural disasters strike, listen to the news through the radio and ask your local authorities if there’s a need to evacuate to a designated shelter in your area. Before leaving, it’s best to prepare medical kits, food, water, flashlight, medicine, and clothes.
Secure all your paperwork by keeping them on the upper floors and be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Sewage water can be dangerous to everyone’s health, and you may need the experts’ help to clean the water damage as soon as possible.
- Call the Authorities
Once you have all the house occupants settled on dry ground, see if someone got injured. If so, call 911 or the authorities immediately for medical help. Regardless of what’s going on in your flooded house, know that the damage is something you have to deal with when the flood subsides.
It’s best to focus on everyone’s well-being and make sure that they are adequately fed for the meantime. After verifying that everyone is fine and safe, you can start making calls to the necessary parties to hasten the recovery and restoration process.
For renters, you need to call your landlord as soon as possible. Let them know what happened, and they will be the ones to do the necessary repairs afterwards. Check your phone and make sure that their numbers are saved on your contact list so you can easily reach them in case of emergencies like these.
Those people who own their homes in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, should call their insurers immediately. The insurance company will send an adjuster to check the damage in the house before the repair and clean-up process begins.
- Document What Happened
Anything related to house floods should be documented. For some people, the first thing that may come to their minds is to clean up everything. However, before you do some restorations, you need to film everything to show the insurers the extent of the water damage. Use your phone to film and take pictures of the interior, exterior, basement, attics, and various rooms.
Floods that may include hazardous materials or sewage waste should be avoided at all costs. Take extreme precautions and wear protective gear when entering your home. A better option would be calling the experts in Bethlehem, PA that have waterproof boots and waders. They will be the ones who will take the pictures on your behalf and tell you about the extent of the damage. Read more about re-entering a flooded home on this site here.
- Starting the Clean-up Process
Cleaning everything is a time-consuming process. You’ll need to remove the water first, salvage everything you can, disinfect the area, dry the rooms, and clean everything the flood has touched. During the disinfection and drying process, you need to wear safety gear to avoid breathing in molds and catching viruses.
There are manual guides online that can walk you through these steps. However, if you don’t have adequate tools and are unsure of what to do, it’s best to call the experts for flood restorations and water damage to do the cleaning for you.
- Prevent Mold from Forming
Some furniture and appliances can get water damage, but there’s a secondary issue that you need to address. There are mold problems that are dangerous to the health of the entire family. This is not the regular green mildew that you can usually find in the basement of your home, but these are the black and toxic molds that can give you breathing problems and allergies.
Avoiding mold problems means that you have to keep some areas dry as much as possible. Treat the walls with bleach and other strong solutions. Consult a professional mold remediation company that can also handle water damage for more information.