A major flood can be devastating to your home and your family. It’s the number one natural disaster in the United States. Depending on the severity of the flooding, you could be looking at weeks of recovery. Here are some things you should do to help expedite your flood recovery in your Texas home.
Flood Recovery: First Steps, For Your Safety
- Check for any structural damage before re-entering your home. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, contact a professional.
- Keep the power off in your home until an electrician has inspected your system for safety. The same goes for your air conditioning unit. Call Air Specialist immediately to schedule a technician to do an inspection before turning on your heating or air conditioning units.
- Boil water for drinking and food preparation until authorities inform you that your water is safe for drinking.
- If the home is still able to be lived in after the flood, proceed with caution and keep your family safe with flashlights and proper usage of equipment.
- If the home isn’t inhabitable, do not stay there—move to a shelter or an alternate location.
For Your Insurance
- If your home has suffered any flood damage, no matter how small, call your insurance company to file a claim immediately.
- Take photos of the floodwater still in your home upon return, as well as any flood water marks on the walls.
- Save any damaged personal property.
- Make a list of any damaged or lost items—if you have the receipts, include those, but at the minimum include the purchase date and location.
- Alert your insurance company if there are any repairs that need to be done immediately—they will send an adjuster to inspect the property before you are able to make repairs, but if you have any emergency repairs to be done, they may want documentation of before/after and records.
For Your Health
- Wear protection when working in your home—gloves and masks, as well as waders or waterproof boots.
- Mold can develop within 24-48 hours of a flood, so remove all wet contents as quickly as possible. These include carpeting, bedding, furniture, rugs, etc. Keep documentation of what you’ve removed, and, as always, notify your insurance agency before removing the items to ensure you are not affecting your coverage.
- Cleaning surfaces with a non-ammonia detergent or pine oil cleaner, followed by disinfecting with a 10 percent bleach solution can help control mold growth. (Note: Never mix ammonia and bleach products—the fumes can be highly toxic.)
Before you hire a company for flood restoration, be sure to check credentials and referring companies like the Better Business Bureau to avoid the risk of scams.