Flood Damage 101: How to Protect Your Home

Anytime there’s heavy rain, you should expect the potential for flood damage.

A flooded home isn’t just costly; it also can be hazardous, especially when there’s mold present.

Don’t let flooding catch you off guard — keep these pointers in mind to protect you and your home.

Preparing for a Flood

  • Find out the highest water level your property has ever experienced. Also ask your neighbors the highest they have experienced.
  • Make sure all the home’s drainage is clear and operating properly.
  • Check gutters and downspouts and remove blockages.
  • Check the flow of water around the home.
  • Install a flood sensor.

Action Items

  • Move as much as possible to higher levels in the home.
  • Use sandbags to help keep water out of crawlspaces and areas with cracks.
  • Turn the power off to the home.
  • Check the sump pump. Have a battery-powered sump pump as a backup.
  • Take pictures and video of the home in its current state.

If Your House Has Flood Damage…

  • Turn off all electrical circuits.
  • Remove rugs, upholstered furniture, curtains and any other soft surfaces from the home and get them outdoors to dry out.
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers to reduce moisture.
  • Keep doors and windows open as much as possible. The goal is to keep air moving through the home.

What You Should Know About Mold

  • Mold can begin developing within 24 to 48 hours after a flood damages your home.
  • If your home floods, immediately begin the drying out process.
    • Toss any porous materials that cannot be cleaned or dried.
    • If you have wet drywall and insulation, remove it. Otherwise, mold can grow behind walls.

If You See Mold Growth

  • Wear protective gear including protective eyewear, non-porous gloves, a respirator mask, long sleeves, long pants and rubber boots.
  • Clean hard surfaces with hot water/bleach, and don’t mix bleach with other cleaners.
  • Spray remaining surfaces with an antimicrobial cleaner.
  • Give the rooms plenty of ventilation.

When to Get Professional Help

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