In the event of a flood, swift action is necessary to reduce further damage to both your property and your health. One of the most important jobs is cleaning up, drying out and restoring your property back into a habitable condition as soon as possible.
To help you do this, the following provides a guide to the actions that will help you clean up after a flood:
- Notify your insurer
- Check your electrical supply and appliances
- Take pictures of the damage
- Remove flood water
- Clean surfaces
- Dry walls and furniture
- Secure the property
1. Notify Your Insurer
One of the first things to do is to notify your insurers. Once they have received your call, it is likely that they will want to send someone out to inspect the damage as soon as possible so that your claim can be processed and restoration work started.
If possible, you should keep your insurance details close to hand when evacuating your home. This will make it easier to contact your insurance provider when you reach safety. You should also be aware that not all insurance policies come with flood damage as standard. If you live in a flood risk area and are unsure if your policy contains appropriate cover, this is something you should check with your home insurance provider as a matter of urgency.
2. Check Your Electrical Supplies and Appliances
As we all know, water is a good conductor of electricity. In the event of a flood, it is highly likely that the water will enter a plug socket and conduct your electricity supply. This is extremely dangerous, so you should ensure that your electrical supply is turned off before entering your home. For safeties sake, it is advisable that you contact your energy provider and request that they do this for you.
3. Take Pictures
When you suffer flooding you will want to clear your home of standing water and start to dry out furniture as soon as possible. Before you do, remember to take pictures of your home and possessions as physical evidence of the damage it has suffered. You will find this extremely helpful when it comes to ensuring your insurance claim provides sufficient financial recompense, as well as having firm evidence in the event of any disputes. Make sure all the damage is photographed from multiple angles and then store these in a safe location for use when needed.
4. Remove Water
When your electricity is turned off, and you have adequate evidence of the damage, you can begin to remove the water from your home. You should try to do this when the water outside your home is lower than inside. This will prevent any more water entering your home. You can remove the water in your home using a bucket or a pump. You can also hire a generator from your local DIY shop, but you must ensure that you keep it outside to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
5. Clean Surfaces
When floodwater enters your home, it also brings with it a torrent of bacteria. You must ensure that you thoroughly clean every surface in your home to prevent the spread of diseases. We suggest you start the deep clean using a brush, hot water and household cleaner. This will remove any dirty water or solid matter that was brought in with the flood. Do not forget to check under tables, in cupboards, or your floorboards. Once you have given your home the once over, you should use disinfectant spray to kill any bacteria or diseases. All clothing and bedding must be washed at a high temperature.
6. Dry Your Home
Drying your home can be tricky. It is important to finish the job as quickly as possible to reduce the growth of mould and fungus. You can try and use your central heating to dry your home, but you should expect a rise in your energy bills. We suggest keeping your home at 20 to 22 degrees centigrade. For faster results, ventilate your home well by opening your doors and windows. If you would like to speed up the process, Tangible Building Services have a team of drying experts as well as top of the range kit. For more information, you can reach our advice team for free on 0800 328 4188.
7. Secure Your Property
In the event of a flood, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that no more damage comes to the property. For example, by placing wooden boards over broken windows and using sandbags to prevent more water entering your home. It’s advisable to also take pictures of these precautions as physical evidence for your insurance provider that you are actively protecting your home.
Whilst the above provides a guide to cleaning up after floodwater, one of the best ways to reduce the damage to your home is to be prepared in the event of a flood. Tangible Building Services has also put together a flood checklist for homes and businesses, to help protect people, property and assets from flood damage. Should you have suffered flood damage and are in the process of making a claim for restoring your home, please feel free to contact our advice team for help on 0800 328 4188.