Cleanup after a flash flood is stressful and significant scope of work. The signature Water and Fire Restoration team prepared several recommendations for you to make the process smoother:
- Be ready to face lots of dirt. Ensure you wear some old clothes, and PPE like rubber boots, gloves, and mask.
- You will need a flashlight and a camera (use your smartphone, if it allows getting sufficient quality).
- It’s better to return without kids before the restoration is done. otherwise, they can be traumatized by the sight of a ruined home.
- Be careful with power lines, don’t leave your car close to them, avoid standing water and puddles.
- If you found the power lines are down do not leave the vehicle and contact the power company for fixing. Leaving a vehicle and visiting home is extremely dangerous in such circumstances. Do not get inside the house, it can kill you!
- Be attentive to signs and tapes left by your local inspectors. It was done for your safety and marks structural damage. Please avoid these signs and places for your safety at least until more information from inspectors will come.
- Visiting your house can be still dangerous even if power lines are secured and warnings are not noticed. Do not rush with this.
- Make an inspection of the house exterior looking for damages in gas lines, pipelines, structural damage, and losses in power lines. If something was noticed, leave a more thorough investigation to a professional inspector and do not get inside the house before it will be permitted by the inspector.
- Be attentive to unusual smells. Gas leakage is a common danger caused by floods. In case you felt the gas smell don’t waste the time and vacate as soon as possible. Call the gas company when you will be far enough from the potential danger. Do not come back before the gas inspection will be completed.
- If you have propane tanks do not use them before the respective inspection. Close its valves before the inspection will come. The same is applicable for any other appliances working from gas or electricity. The safety of each of them must be confirmed by specialists.
- No flames, just the flashlights!
- When you will be able to securely get inside the house pay attention to floors and ceilings:
- A sagging floor should not be the area for any step from your side while a sagging ceiling evidences its water damage.
- Do not forget to wear PPE when you’re inside the house, it is important! Protect your head, eyes, and skin especially if you decided to knock on the ceiling. Although the right decision would be to wait for professionals.
- Never touch and especially poke the center of the damaged area, the object can entirely collapse. Again, leave dangerous jobs to professionals.
- The water from the basement should be pumped out gradually. Quick removal will cause walls to collapse in the basement.
- Dispose of mattresses, toys (both baby’s and pet’s), carpeting. They absorbed too much dirty water and are dangerous to use after it. The same is applicable to food, medicines, and toilets, even if they look undamaged, they are still suffered from excessive moisture and changed their properties.
Don’t forget to take pictures which will be invaluable for dealing with an insurance agent. All the recovery works should be documented, including retaining receipts. This is the only way to get compensation from the insurance company in the future.
Making the return completely smooth is impossible. It always stressful and requires much time before the family will have a normal life again. Nevertheless, we sincerely hope the mentioned above advice will not only save you life but help to make it easier. If you still have questions, contact our experts from Signature Water and Fire Restoration at +1-224-515-0100, and they will provide you with all the requested information!