What Is The Process For Flood Damage Restoration?.
What should I do first?
It’s late at night. You’ve just got in after a long day at work when you’re woken by water pouring through your ceiling. A pipe has burst, the rain has been torrential, or in a freak accident a flash flood has left your home flooded. You’re in a state of shock and panic. What do you do first?
Well, the first thing to do is to dial 911. Calling the emergency services will ensure that they send the right kind of help, i.e. the fire department, if there’s a fire; the police, if someone has been hurt; or the water authorities, if you have a flood.
While you’re making that call, here’s what you should do:
- 1. Safety first
- 2. Evaluate damage
- 3. Call the professionals
- 4. Start drying out your home
- 5. Get to work on repairs
- 6. Document the work done
The process of flood damage restoration will be different for every homeowner and for every incident, but we’ll outline the general process below.
1. Safety First
It’s important that you don’t attempt to make repairs yourself until you are certain that it is safe to do so. If you are unsure as to whether it is safe, contact a professional who will be able to make an informed decision.
2. Evaluate Damage
One of the most important things to do after a flood is to evaluate the damage. If nothing else is damaged, then you might be able to get away with minor repairs and tidy up quickly and efficiently. But if other items in your home are damaged – such as furniture, or even electrical appliances – then this will need to be replaced before any repairs can be made to your walls and ceilings. This means that the clean-up and repair process could take longer than expected.
3. Call The Professionals
You may have heard of the phrase ‘time is of the essence’ and it couldn’t be more true when it comes to making repairs after a flood. Making sure that the repair work is done correctly is essential to ensure that mold doesn’t start forming or other problems occur within your home.
You need a professional to assess the damage as quickly as possible so that they can put together a plan of action as soon as possible for repair work to begin as soon as possible. You may also find it easier if you choose one company for everything – clean up and repair work – rather than having to rely on several different firms for various services (some firms may provide clean up only, others just repair work) and having to deal with several different people too.
4. Start Drying Out Your Home
A lot of water has been displaced from your home and it won’t be long before it starts seeping back in as it dries out over several hours or days – even weeks – depending on how severe the flooding was. This means that you must act quickly in order to minimize damage and to prevent any unpleasant smells or bacteria forming.
It’s important that you don’t make any attempt at drying out until you have called in a professional team who know what they are doing and have all the appropriate equipment to carry out their work safely and effectively. They will also be able to stop unwanted mold growth which can occur if drying out is not carried out correctly (see ‘What is mold?’ below).
A professional team will also have access to industrial-strength fans which they will use to dry your home out efficiently, quickly, and safely. They will also have ‘moisture meters’ which will tell them exactly where moisture is hiding in your walls, floors, and ceilings, so that they can target their efforts most effectively (unlike you, who would probably move furniture back before knowing if it was safe).
5. Get To Work On Repairs
As soon as possible after your home has dried out properly, your specialist company will get to work on repairs – with all of the furniture being moved back into place before any sanding or painting begins (which means less time doing this later on).
Repairs could include:
- · Wallpapering or painting walls and ceilings
- · Replacing drywall in bathrooms and kitchens
- · Paving over sunken areas in hardwood floors
- · Sanding damaged woodwork in order to remove any unsightly stains caused by standing water and use of industrial-strength varnishes or lacquers to ensure a perfect finish on new woodwork
- · Pipes may need extensive repair work or replacement – this depends on how extensive the damage was (ditto electrical circuits)
- · The area affected by flooding (e.g., living room)
- · Before images of affected area(s) with measurements provided for comparison purposes
- · Any remaining signs of water damage (e.g., mold) taken at regular intervals during drying out process so that progress can be tracked easily (an initial inspection, later progress reports)
- · An agreement for payment for work carried out with payment schedule provided for ease of understanding what is owed (and when)
6. Document The Work Done
By law, all companies working in your home must provide documentation of their work; however, we recommend that you also take photographs of all new work before it is completed so that you can keep track of everything for insurance purposes before anything gets forgotten about later on (and it does). This documentation should also include:
After all the hard work has been done (and paid for), don’t forget about insurance claims! In order to make a claim with your insurance company you will need documentation of all repairs made by a professional company – if you don’t have this documentation then don’t expect an insurance claim to be paid out!