When a flood occurs that is severe enough to enter your home, several forms of damage and destruction can happen, not just right after the flood but also into the following day, months, and years. Most people aren’t prepared to deal with a flood because they never thought it could happen in their neighborhood or they didn’t realize that floods were not covered in their insurance policy.
During a flood incident due to extreme weather, the first thing a homeowner will notice is the rising water entering their home. The flooding could be limited to a basement, a few inches on the ground floor, or several feet high. In severe cases, especially in flood zones, flood waters can engulf the entire house. Residents who are not prepared to deal with flood waters run the risk of injury or even death.
After flood waters recede, it still may not be safe to enter a flooded house. City officials may have evacuated the entire area and banned residents from returning to their homes until it is deemed safe to do so. To ensure safe entry, the electrical supply will have to be shut off to prevent electrocution. Next, each house will have to be inspected by building officials to see if the home is structurally sound.
Once residents are allowed to enter their flooded homes, inspection will take place to evaluate the damage. The most obvious damage will be to the furniture, appliances, rugs and carpets, and just about anything that was left in the flood water’s path. What’s not so obvious is the damage that is not seen. Behind the walls, water and moisture will eventually breed mold spores causing further damage.
One of the best ways to save a house after a flood and minimize the damage is to remove the drywall or wall panels and allow the area inside the wall to dry out. If the house has wooden floors, the flooring and subfloor may need to be removed to allow all wood products to completely dry out. This will not only help prevent mold from forming, but it will also prevent termites from being attracted to the damp wood.
If you have flood insurance as a part of your homeowner’s insurance policy, the claims adjuster will thoroughly inspect your home to evaluate full water damage repair and restoration of your home back to its normal condition. It is highly recommended that you call your insurance agent immediately after a flood incident. By doing this, your agent can take action to prevent further damage from occurring later.
For homeowners who don’t have flood insurance, they may have to bear the brunt of restoring their homes at their own expense. The first thing these homeowners should do is take measures to minimize the damage as mentioned above. Then, contact local, state, and federal officials to see if government disaster assistance is available for the flooded area. If so, fill out the required forms as soon as possible.