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.
- 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
- If the main power switch was not turned off before the flood damage, do not re-enter until a qualified electrician has determined it safe to do so.
- Contact the local health department to make sure the water has been tested for contamination.
- If you have flood insurance, immediately contact your insurance adjuster.
- My House Flooded… Now What?
- FloodSmart | The National Flood Insurance Program
- 5 Reasons Your Basement May Flood This Winter
- A Sign of High Humidity Is Moisture and Mold
- Mold Killing Paint Primer for Interior & Exterior Walls