Here in Katy, Texas, we see it all of the time: Water damage can happen to anyone.
A broken water pipe, damaged water heater, rainwater flooding, leaky roof, leaking faucet, and a backed-up sewer line are all possible causes of flooding. Whenever a large amount of water stands freely on a surface in your home, water damage is bound to occur – and quickly. Repairing the damage and restoring your home can be incredibly costly and your insurance policy may not cover that kind of liability.
Thankfully, there are steps homeowners can take to mitigate water damage. The following is a simple guide to acting correctly and decisively when your home is flooded.
Step 1: Turn Off the Power
When water fills your home, socket outlets and extension cords may all be in contact with that water. That may lead to electrocution if you try to wade through the water – a serious risk which you need to avoid. Furthermore, water can short-circuit electrical appliances which may also be flooded. When your home is filled with water, don’t do anything before you turn off the power at the main control panel of your home.
Step 2: Stop the Flooding
Once the power is turned off, the next thing you should do is try to prevent further flooding. If a broken water pipe or a damaged faucet is the cause of flooding in your home, cut off the water supply by turning off the main shut-off valve; this valve may be located outside the house next to the water meter. If a backed up sewer line is to blame for the flooding, the only thing you can do is stop using faucets, toilets or bathrooms until the problem is fixed.
If rainwater from outside finds its way into your home, there is little you can do if you did not anticipate the flooding. You’ll want to contact a water damage mitigation specialist right away – Rainbow International is one that I trust. If you have a few sand-filled sandbags at the ready, place them at the main water entry points to act as a barrier.
Step 3: Salvage Valuable Items
Water damage is a factor of time: The longer a surface or property is flooded with water, the greater the damage will be. Therefore, you must act fast to salvage your property. However, you should not try to move heavy objects by yourself on a watery surface. Instead, get some help or leave it where it is. Start with lighter items, such as TVs, computers, home theater system, cushions, paintings, area rugs, and smaller tables among other things.
Step 4: Pump Out Water
If you have a sump pump, use it to pump water out of your home. Alternatively, you can use a piece of rug and bucket to remove any free-standing water on your floor. However, this is only practical if there is a small amount of water on the floor.
Step 5: Call a Water Damage Mitigation Company
Even if you remove all free-standing water, you still probably need to call water damage company. Water may still be hidden under the floor and walls, which will require drying of all the surfaces using powerful equipment. Humidity must also be controlled in order to remove excess moisture from the house. Depending on the type of water which caused the flooding, carpets and pieces of furniture may need to be cleaned as well as dried. Water damage companies often specialize in carpet and furniture leaning as well.
When your home is flooded, timing is everything. Deal with the problem immediately, or contact someone who can. In the meantime, be sure to take the above-mentioned steps as you wait for professional help.