The world can be a scary place. With the recent anthrax scare across the US, as well as the recent flooding in Texas, it’s very important that we try to always remain safe.
While precautions are being taken in labs regarding anthrax, many homeowners in the Houston area are now forced to fix the damages caused to their homes from the recent floods. Depending on location, some homeowners in the area may walk away with minor water-related damages to their home while others will be forced to completely renovate.
For all of those individuals in the Houston area, or for any homeowner who may suffer the repercussions of a flood, the following are a few tips to help learn more about what to do after your home has been flooded.
Check for major damage.
Once all the water has been removed from the home, it’s very important that you look for major damage. Be sure to check walls and the general structure of the home. If anything including beams or posts has been destroyed because of the flood, then your home is unsafe to live in and will require major reconstruction. You should also look for holes, foundation cracks, and any other issue. Make sure you then collect any belongings that can be salvaged and seek temporary shelter somewhere else.
Contact utility companies.
If your home has been flooded, the water can cause damage to other areas of your home. This is why it’s extremely important that you contact your utility companies and ask them to shut off service to your home. This includes water, electricity, and gas. If the water comes in contact with an electrical wire, it could cause a fire. Also, if you were to step in a puddle that had been charged by an electrical wire, you could be electrocuted. Make sure you have your utilities shut off to ensure your own safety.
Thankfully, your homeowners insurance will likely cover the cost of damages that you occurred from the flood. No matter if the insurance company agent takes pictures, it’s always a good idea for you to take your own pictures too. This will serve as your own “insurance” in case the insurance company tries to claim that certain damage wasn’t done to the home from the flood. The more proof you have of the damages, the more successful your claim will be.
If you are going inside the home for any reason, it’s very important to consider your safety. Be sure to wear rubber boots as well as rubber gloves and other rubber clothing. This will protect your body from hazardous waste or sewage that may now be inside your home as a result of the flood.
If your home is livable after the flood, it’s still very important that you take the right precautions. Make sure you throw out any food and/or beverages that came in contact with flood waters. This will keep you and your family from consuming anything that may have been touched by sewage or other chemicals. It’s also very important that you don’t drink your tap water. The flood waters have likely entered your local water supply, and this could cause you to become ill if consumed. Instead, opt for bottled water or boil local tap water before consuming to rid it from harmful bacteria.
Start removing the water.
If you still have water in your home (likely in the basement or other low-lying areas), remove the water after you have taken pictures and after you have contacted your insurance company. They may give you the okay to remove the water, or they may want to see it firsthand. Use buckets and/or sump pumps to get the water out of your home safely and quickly. If necessary, you should consider hiring a professional. According to RitzPlumbing.com, “a professional plumber can be of great assistance to homeowners who have recently experienced flooding in their home. Not only can they remove the water properly, but they can ensure the home’s water supply is placed back to normal as soon as possible.”