Victim of a House Flood? Follow These Important Steps

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Flooding and water damage is one of the most common insurance claims. In fact, about 20% of all insurance claims related to water damage of some kind. The problem with flooding is usually not with the water itself, but with the damage that it leaves behind once cleaned up. Excessive flooding can damage floorboards, drywall, wooden beams, cause mold to grow, and damage structures of a house. If you have recently experienced a flood, consider the following remediation steps to ensure the problem is handled appropriately.

Water leak detection

If you clean up the flooding without first completing water leak detection, it is likely to flood again. Even if the flood was caused by excessive rain fall or snow melting, the water still had to get into the house someway. If needed, complete water leak detection by draining additional water around the house, attempting to find the source of the leak. If the leak is coming from inside the house, locate and complete water leak repair before beginning any type of remediation.

Remove excess water

In most cases, a flood requires professional mediation. You generally cannot see all areas of the house that the water touched and affected. This usually requires professional tools and knowledge of flood patterns. For example, a sheet of drywall standing upright with its edge sitting in just one half inch of water can wick water up to 6 inches in less than three hours. Removing just the half inch of water area can still cause mold to grow on the wicked drywall.

Removing the excess water can allow a professional remediation company to better identify the interior water damage. It is possible, and likely, that they will need to remove any of the existing wood structures in the flooded parts of the house. They will use special tools to test for levels of moisture, and any areas of higher moisture, will be removed. If the water is sewage water or contaminated water, it will require specialized cleaning services and any personal belonging in the flooded area of the house will be thrown out.

Mold removal

Most homeowners are surprised to learn of the existence of mold after a flooding. Mold typically begins to grow in 24 hours to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment. Even a couple day delay of water removal and remediation, mold can already grow out of control. The spores of mold are harmful for breathing and can spread throughout the entire house. Mold removal should always be tested and completed by a professional, because of the seriousness of the consequences. Even when minimal home water damage occurs or when a small water leak detection is made, a mold inspection should be completed.

Insurance verification

Flooding is one of the most common reasons for homeowners claiming insurance losses. Each insurance policy differs. It is always important to work with your insurance company representative from the moment you identify the flood. The entire process of flood remediation is very expensive. Based on Floodsmart, a 2,000 square foot home undergoing 12 inches of water damage could cost more than $50,000. Following specific homeowners insurance verifications and required mold cleanup instructions can prevent you from paying more out of pocket or from having the insurance company not cover parts of the flood removal.

Flooding is the number one disaster that occurs to homeowners. Flooding can be caused by a variety of causes, including natural disasters, plumbing problems, and minor water leaks. The biggest concern with house floods are that they often contains contaminated water and causes mold spores to grow within hours. Water can seep into areas of the house that are not detectable and even when the problem seems corrected, mold is growing and the house structure is becoming weaker. House floods, for this reason, require professional inspection, remediation, and removal of mold.

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