You wake up to something no homeowner wants to see. Your basement has flooded. A million things go through your head from “How can I fix it?” to “What was ruined?” While you may not be thinking straight there are some common sense things you should be doing.
1) Be sure you are safe.
If your power is out this probably means a fuse was blown in the process. While there may not be power, there are still live wires that can harm you. In addition to electrical shock, you have to watch out for gas leaks, chemicals, and/or pollutants.
Here are some quick safety tips:
- Make sure an electrician assesses the situation by check any damage to any affected electrical equipment. If the electrician needs to be called make sure they are one of the first people to respond because everyone after him will need electricity.
- If there is no heat and the conditions are not naturally warm, depart from the affected area.
2) Assess further damage
Now that you’re in a safer area, let’s see the damage that has been left. This includes ruined property, damaged drywall, etc. These things could be a harboring ground for dangerous mold if not taken care of by a specialist. These things can be replaced, your health cannot.
3) Hire a professional to do the clean up
Because of all the damage that can occur, it is best to find a professional water damage restoration company. A professional will be equipped to not only keep themselves safe, but you as well. They can keep additional damage from occurring and properly dry out to eliminate future risks such as the aforementioned dangerous mold. A professional water damage restoration company can help with the following step and remember you can always ask them questions on the phone while they are on their way to your home.
4) Call the insurance company
You were hoping you never had to use your insurance, but now that it is time, you are glad they are here. They can help replace some of that stuff you had to throw away and get you back to normal. If it isn’t a big damage wait until the water restoration technician to get there and they can help you in figuring out if it will be cheaper to self-pay or go through your insurance.
While it is too late now, in case this ever happens again (or if you are being cautious now) make sure and know what your insurance does and doesn’t cover. If there is something you wish you had this time around that was not there, talk to you agent and make sure you are ready for the future.
5) Things you can do yourself before and after the damage happens
While you should let the professional take on the heavy lifting, there are things you can do yourself.
Make sure any irreplaceable items, like photos, books, family videos, etc. are placed in a plastic bins. Check these bins every year for any damages or cracks.
Also have a pump setup for future use. While this may not have a disaster occur in extreme cases, it often times helps a bad situation from turning into a disaster. Also, a back-up battery can help when black-out happens during a storm.
Finally, call in the experts, ask them what you can do in the future to help prevent this from happening again.