Facing Disaster: What To Do After Your Basement Floods
Basement floods hurt in more ways than one. In addition to water damage to the structure of your home, flood damage extends to your furniture, collectibles, restoration costs, and of course the potential harm of your family. Floods can often strike without any advanced warning, and people can panic under the additional stress and urgency. In order to assure the best outcome after water invades your home, remain calm and take the following steps:
Focus on Safety
In the rush to save valuable belongings or discover the the source of the leak, you might be tempted to enter the basement immediately. But this can be incredibly dangerous for you and your family for a number of reasons:
- The first is electric shock. Flood water is in constant contact with currents of electricity including outlets, radiators, and more. Before you attempt to wade or walk through any water, shut off the power source to the affected area.
- The force of water can also knock gas pipes and furnaces loose in your home. If you smell gas, there could be a deadly leak and you should exit your home immediately and call emergency services.
- Flooding can be caused by any number of unpredictable factors. One such surprise is a local sewer leak. The result is the potential seepage of toxic chemicals and bacteria. You should therefore always wear protective equipment, such as gloves, eyewear, and ideally waterproof footwear.
- An influx of water can damage the walls or ceiling of your home. This structural weakness might not be noticed at first, so if in doubt you should evacuate.
Call A Water Damage Repair Professional
Once you've secured the safety of your family, you should immediately call a professional to inspect and repair the problem and to give you more information. If possible, locate the water valve that receives incoming water and turn it off. Also avoid using the sink, toilet or other water supplies as this could lead to further flooding. Of course, only a professional will able to accurately assess and correct the damage, but these additional actions could help expedite the process.
Contact The Insurance Company
Insurance companies encourage you to get in touch immediately after an incident. In order to make your case and receive the coverage you deserve, collect as much evidence as possible by photographing all potentially damaged areas. The sooner and more detailed, the better.
Dealing with a flood is never fun. Hardship comes in the form of lost valuables, a feeling of vulnerability in your home, and even potential injury. But such emergencies can be approached effectively. By taking the steps above you can keep your family safe, receive professional repair and guidance, and be appropriately compensated by your insurance for your financial losses.