A flood can have devastating consequences to your Seminole, Florida, home. Water damage can not only destroy your valuables and keepsakes but can cause severe damage to your home if not mitigated properly. To give you the best chance of preserving as much as possible and protecting your home, there are several steps to follow immediately in the aftermath of a flood.
Notify Your Insurance Company
You will want to notify your insurance company right away to see what is covered and the steps you need to take to ensure that your claim is paid. Take pictures of the damage so you can have them filed with your claim as you may have to begin the cleanup process before an insurance adjuster comes out. Once you have filed your claim, keep your claim number handy so that your restoration and cleaning specialist can keep in contact with your insurance company about the claim.
Stay Protected When Inside Your Home
If you are going through the home to try and find precious items or get a visual assessment of the damage, exercise extreme caution. Water can weaken floors and ceilings and even lead to cracks in the foundation. Make sure that the power is off to any room with appliances in it that have standing water. Do not use appliances in rooms where the floors or walls are wet. If you must go through areas covered with water, wear protective gear such as waders. Floodwater can be contaminated with germs and bacteria.
Contact a Water Damage Mitigation Company to Initiate Cleanup
Cleanup and restoration experts can assess the damage in your home so you will know the extent of the damage, how long the cleanup will take, and will have an estimate to give to your insurance company. It is crucial to initiate cleanup within 24 to 48 hours of the flood to protect your home from further damage and limit the level of contamination from the floodwater.
Water mitigation should never be a DIY project. Cleanups require special tools, skills, and protective gear to ensure that your home is properly cleaned and safely inhabitable. The cleanup process will start with the removal of all excess water and moisture from the damaged areas. Next, the area will be sanitized and deodorized, and wood will be restored. Everything will be thoroughly dried to prevent biological growth and an anti-microbial agent will be applied to deter future growth.
Make Decision About Salvaged Items
During the cleanup process, your items will be removed and placed in dry storage until the areas have been completely cleaned, dried, and sanitized. Items that have been deemed too hazardous to salvage will be disposed of right away, but other items that can be safely dried will need to be sorted to determine which items should be kept and which ones should be thrown out.
Assess the Area for Needed Repairs
Once everything has been cleaned, you will need to assess your home for any damage caused by the flood waters that will need to be repaired. These repairs are likely to include repair or replacement of flooring, drywall, plaster, or even ceilings. You also will want to have your plumbing checked and address any possible leaks to prevent moisture issues or further water damage. Once you have identified all the needed repairs, you will need to contact a contractor to get an estimate.
Submit All Bills to Your Insurance Company
After all of the repairs have been made, and the cleanup and restoration process has been completed, you will need to submit final paperwork to your insurance company to complete your claim so they can issue any necessary payments. If repairs were extensive, you may wish to submit bills as each part of the process is completed to ensure faster payment to your vendors.
If you have experienced water damage due to a flood, don’t panic. Follow the steps above and contact ServiceMaster 24 Hour at 727-201-0499 right away. Our experienced and professional staff will assess the damage, work with your insurance company, and safely store your salvaged items during the process. We can help get your home restored so you can get back to your daily life.
Image provided by iStock