Wherever there is rain, there is the potential for flooding – which is just about everywhere. This can include flash flooding, home flooding, or both, and some areas will experience it more often than others. But according to FEMA, statistics have shown that floods are the most expensive and common natural disaster in the United States. But unfortunately, we cannot prevent them from occurring altogether; we can only do our best to prepare to perform professional flood damage cleanup for the property.
It is important to be aware of the potential damages that can occur to all building materials, including drywall, carpeting, floorboards, appliances, clothing, and more. But the damage does not stop here; the combination of excess moisture, bacteria, and soiled organic building materials will allow for mold and mildew to grow, increasing both time and money spent in repair costs.
If you have already experienced a flood in your home, don’t hesitate to contact an emergency flood cleanup company as soon as possible. The technicians at ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors are both licensed and experienced to provide flood cleanup services in the northeastern Indiana area. They are available 24/7, arrive within 2 hours of your initial call, and work efficiently and effectively to prevent additional damage during the restoration process.
If you have not experienced a flood yet, it is important to take all necessary steps in preventing your building materials and personal materials from sustaining as much damage as possible. This doesn’t mean that you should be concerned every time it rains, rather, just be cautious and protect your valuables. With that, here are some flood preparation tips on what you can do before the big storm.
- Turn off the electricity. This is the most important step you can take to protect the safety of you and everyone else on the property. The water may compromise the electrical system, but at least everyone will be safe.
- Move all belongings with high sentimental or monetary value. This includes electronics, family heirlooms, wood valuables, coin collections, expensive clothing, and don’t forget storage boxes. Basements and crawlspaces are often the most common areas to become flooded after heavy rain and melting snow.
- Protect important documents. In addition to valuable possessions, important documents, including mortgage documents, birth certificates, social security cards, etc. must also be kept in a safe location to avoid flood damage.
- Remove all area rugs from the floor. All rugs and carpeting will be quick to absorb water and moisture due to their porous materials. Especially if you have thick carpets, you will want to put them in a high, dry area to prevent them from discoloring, deterioration, and even developing mold growth.
- Buy lots of sandbags. You can never have too many. These will provide the perfect barrier for floodwaters, blocking the majority of floodwater from seeping into the property. But the best areas to place them is in front of doorways, windows, and garage door (you may be surprised to see the number of flooded garages after heavy rains).
- Clean the gutters of all debris. Removing all sticks, dirt, and other debris will allow the water to flow smoothly through the gutter, down the spout, and away from your foundation.
- Keep a list of emergency contacts. If you are like most people, your phone is within 3 feet of you at all times. What you can do is add local emergency services to your contacts and notes (name of service and phone number). This way, you will still be able to find them quickly if you forget the name of the company. But if you don’t always have it with you, keep a list of these contacts readily available, such as on the refrigerator. The list should include your local hospital, police department, emergency water damage restoration company, as well as close family members and friends.
- Keep a flood kit. This should include more than just a first aid kit. Don’t forget about toiletries, flash lights, matches, cans of food, manual can opener, batteries, water bottles, cell phone charger, whistle (to call for help). Also remember to replace the food and water if they expire.
- Keep informed. If there are any threats for flash floods, tornados, snow storms, etc., you will need as much time as possible to be fully prepared and minimize the damage, if any to your property.
- Evacuate, if necessary. While it may be hard to leave your home and personal belongings behind, remember that everyone’s safety comes first. Don’t hesitate to get out as soon as it is advised to do so.
How to Prepare for a Flood in the Long-Term
Especially if you live in what they call a “flood zone,” taking these steps are crucial to prevent critical damage that can cost a pretty penny to repair (possibly multiple times). Making structural, electrical, and foundational changes now will save you from facing repeat damage that could have been avoided altogether. Here are some flood preparation tips that may seem extensive now, but will definitely pay off in the long-term.
- Replace wood and carpet flooring with hard tile. Tile is not nearly as porous as the other materials, making it an easier cleanup job if water were to pool in the affected area.
- Install waterproof doors and frames. While many doors are made of wood to add to the aesthetics of the home, they are very porous and will quickly absorb water in the event of a flood. Replacing them with metal doors will save you from replacing them again in the future.
- Install one-way valves into the sewer and main water line. This will prevent water, contaminated or not, from flowing back into the property if a backup to occur.
- Install flood barriers and skirts to windows, doors, and air bricks (if necessary). At any time the floodwaters rise above ground, these skirts will decelerate the flow of water into the property, at the very least.
- Move wall outlets higher. Preventing water from seeping into the holes will avoid significant damage to the electrical system.
- Replaster walls with a water-resistant material. Products such as cement render or lime plaster can save you from having to replace ruined drywall in the future.
- Purchase flood insurance. Again if you live in a “flood zone,” having flood insurance can save you from dealing with hefty restoration and reconstruction costs. Just keep in mind that a month must pass before the insurance can take effect.
Call the Flood Extraction Professionals
Unfortunately there is not much we can do to prevent floods from occurring altogether. Mother nature will do as she wishes, but it is important to focus on what we can do: prepare and prepare. As soon as the rain has passed, taking action right away to return your home to its original condition is crucial to preventing additional damage.
When looking for a flood cleanup company, check out ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors if you live in the northeastern Indiana area. Not only are we available 24/7, but we will arrive within 2 hours of your initial call with all equipment necessary to restore your building materials. We can also provide content cleaning and pack-out services if your personal items were also damaged by the floodwaters.
Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (260) 420-1502 for more information or in the event of an emergency water damage crisis.