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Recovering From a Flood

Experiencing a flood can be devastating to your home and turn your life upside down for a considerable amount of time. To minimize the impact the event will have on your property and your life, it's best to take action as soon as possible:

Flood waters near a house.

  • Protect yourself. Chemicals or sewage could have contaminated the water, so you need to wear protective gloves before touching anything. It's also advisable to wear waders. Boil water before use until the authorities say it's safe to use, and don't consume any food that may have been contaminated.
  • Inspect the exterior of your home for damage before entering. Pay special attention to the condition of your foundation, as the Insurance Information Institute advises that water can cause cracks to form.
  • Call your insurance company. Do so before you start cleaning up and making repairs because in the event your insurance company sends out an adjuster, they'll want to see the full extent of the damage.
  • Document any visible damage. It's best to take photos with your phone or a digital camera. If necessary, you can add written notes. Send copies of the digital images along with the appropriate claim forms to your insurance company.
  • Remove the water. Once you have the all-clear from your insurance company, its recommended to hire a water restoration company to pump the water out of your home. Depending on how much water remains inside and outside of the home, removing the water might need to be spread out over a couple of days to avoid further damage to your home.
  • Perform mold remediation. Mold can be harmful – and unfortunately, it can develop as soon as 24 to 48 hours after a flood. Be prepared to replace most of your furnishings and furniture, because it can take too long to dry them out. Evaluate which of your other possessions can be salvaged and which ones need to be thrown away. If a significant amount of mold has developed inside the building itself, it's advisable to hire a mold remediation company to address the issue.

Recovering from a flood will take time, but if you keep these tips in mind, you'll be able to dry and clean your home out so it's safe for you and your family to return.

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