While it may seem unlikely, a flooded Southern California home is a much more common problem than most people realize. If one day you come home to find water covering your floor and soaking into your walls, follow the steps below.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR HOUSE FLOODS
Remember, while the situation may feel overwhelming, rest assured, you will overcome it, and you will have help. As mentioned above, a flooded home is a fairly common occurrence, and there are experts who’ve been there before to assist you through it.
1. If you can turn the power off safely, do so.
Don’t shut the power off if you have to walk through water to get to the electrical panel. Don’t even enter your home if you notice the walls or floors sagging because they might buckle.
2. Shut off your water.
If the flooding issue is plumbing-related, you need to turn off the water source. Shut off your home’s main water supply valve.
3. Put on protective gear.
Water from a flood can be full of germs, parasites, sewage, and debris, and sometimes it’s hard to see what’s underneath. Before attending to water damage, protect yourself by putting on rain boots and waterproof gloves.
4. Contact your utility companies.
Sometimes a flood can damage your home’s electric, gas, and water lines. If you think any of those lines might be damaged, don’t wait to call your utility companies to let them know what has happened.
5. Call your insurance provider.
Call your homeowners insurance company to let them know about the flood, and to schedule an appointment with an adjuster. Your policy’s coverage can vary depending on what caused the flood (i.e. a natural disaster, a faulty dishwasher, etc.).
6. Take tons of photos and videos to document the damage.
You’ll need to provide your insurance company with documentation of the damage when you file your claim. Even well-lit photos and videos taken from your phone can be extremely helpful for this step of the process. Remember to get photos and video of both structural damages as well as damaged items.
7. Remove standing water, and start drying your home.
During this stage, ventilation is key. Open your windows to help your home dry out faster. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s safe to use your electricity, use fans to circulate air and remove moisture.
8. Contact a reputable restoration services contractor.
During a stressful situation, it’s absolutely essential to work with a contractor that is ethical and transparent about their business practices. Check out their customer testimonials and make sure that they are providing you with a fair and clear estimate.
Another important note: while it’s recommended to have a preferred restoration company in your phone’s contacts, make sure that your insurance company’s adjuster has looked at your home and assessed your claim before any demolition starts.
9. Address mold problems immediately.
According to FEMA, mold growth can occur within 24 to 48 hours of water exposure, so it’s important to take preventative measures to stop that spread after a flood. A restoration company with mold remediation services can be an immense help with battling mold issues and stopping further growth.
COMMON SOURCES OF FLOODING
You don’t need to live close to a body of water to experience a “flood” in your SoCal home. Floods inside homes can result from problems such as:
- Faulty washing machines and dishwashers
- Water heater leaks
- Burst or broken plumbing pipes
- Drainage issues during periods of heavy rain
- Water backing up from clogged HVAC system condensate drain lines
While it can be difficult to predict all potential flood sources, you can prevent some problems with a watchful eye, adequate drainage, and plumbing technology.
- If you notice any unusual behavior from your plumbing system or unusually high water bills, call a plumber that offers leak detection services.
- Check your home’s perimeter for drainage problems, including up by the gutters and down by the foundation, and make sure to clean your gutters thoroughly at least twice a year.
- If you own a basement, consider installing a sump pump to help remove water from floods.
- To prevent leaks from plumbing fixtures and water supply pipes, install a leak detection and water monitoring device, like Flo by Moen. This device monitors your home’s water pressure, flow rate, and area temperature and shuts your water off when it detects a leak.
Does your home have water damage from a flood? Don’t hesitate to contact the Los Angeles restoration pros at Allied Restoration Services, 24/7: (626) 349-6515!