Flash flooding is a costly problem for homeowners. In fact, according to recent statistics, flood damage to homes, property, personal property, crops, and livestock is thought to have amounted to more than 60 billion dollars in losses in 2017 alone. For the individual homeowner, a flash flood can ruin furnishings and personal possessions, damage the structure and systems of the home, and force them to find alternative housing somewhere else until their home can be restored and made safe for occupancy.
If you are the victim of a recent flash flood or live in an area where you fear you will be, the following information will give you a plan of action to follow that will help you make it through the aftermath of a flash flood event.
Keep your family away from the flood-damaged home
Getting your family and pets to a safe location before the arrival of flood waters was a smart move on your part that likely saved their lives. But it is important to continue to keep them well away—even after the waters have receded—until the home is deemed safe for reentry.
Flood damage can cause electrical and structural hazards that can make your home unsafe for children and pets to be in or around. Additionally, flood waters can create risks of contamination, especially if nearby septic systems or livestock containment areas were also inundated by flood waters.
Take detailed photos showing the water depth and damage
When it is possible for the homeowner to revisit the home safely, it is important for them to take detailed photos of the damage, including watermarks on walls or siding that will help to illustrate how high the water actually rose during the worst of the flooding. These detailed photos can be helpful when dealing with insurance agents or when applying for federal, state, or local flood assistance grants.
Remove standing water quickly
The next thing for homeowners to do immediately after the flood waters have receded to safe levels is to inspect the property for areas of standing water. Basements, cellars, and other low areas can harbor pooled water long after the flooding event. In addition to the risk of contamination, pooled flood water can cause greater damage to the home by increasing the risk of mold and mildew.
Call a water damage restoration professional
Another very important thing for homeowners to do after becoming the victim of a flooding event is to contact a water damage restoration professional. These experts can help homeowners assess the damage and develop a plan to help restore their home to its pre-flood condition as quickly as possible.