Flooding can happen for a variety of reasons, from natural catastrophes like hurricanes, storms, and overflowing rivers, to man-made problems such as a leaky water heater, plumbing failures, burst water pipes, an overflowing toilet, or a leaky foundation.
Types of Flood Damage
Flood-related damage can be broken down into four main categories: cosmetic damage, structural damage, electrical damage, and mold growth.
- Cosmetic damage is any damage that will not affect the function or structural integrity of your home but may be unsightly. Examples of flood cosmetic damage include destroyed carpeting and other flooring types, and damaged personal items such as furniture, clothing, décor, etc.
- Structural damage is any damage that weakens the structure of your home, from the foundation up: baseboards, walls, framing, etc.
- Electrical damage can include power outages, shorted outlets & switches, destroyed junction boxes and wiring, damaged appliances, and damage caused an electrical fire.
- Mold growth occurs within 24 hours of exposure to water and can weaken structures. It is also a health hazard for all people exposed to it, especially children and pets, so it must be dealt with immediately.
If you do find yourself in the middle of a flood situation, there are several things you can do to reduce the amount of damage done to your home:
1. If the flooding is not due to an act of nature, stop the water at its source. Turn off the main water valve to the house.
2. Turn off electricity, but only if you can do so without stepping into water
3. Evacuate the premises
4. Call a team of water damage restoration professionals who specialize in handling floods and water damage.
5. Document everything and present an itemized list to your insurer during the claims process.
Important things to remember to prevent man-made flood damage or in case of natural flooding:
- Even if flood water is clear, it could be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals.
- Begin the restoration process as soon as possible to protect your health and prevent further damage.
- Use water leak sensors to get early warning of unwanted water
- Install a smart home security system that includes flood detection in case you are asleep or away from the home when flooding happens
- Get a sump pump to help prevent water damage and assist with cleanup if there is flooding
- Use a waterproof & fireproof safe to store valuables and important documents
- If restoring walls, consider using closed-cell foam insulation and flood-resistant sheathing and drywall.
- If restoring floors, consider flooring that is made of ceramic tile with water-resistant mortar, interlocking tiles, concrete, or other non-porous flooring materials.
If you live on the Gulf Coast or in an area that’s prone to flooding, it’s especially important to take preventative measures and know what to do if your home does flood. In the event of flooding or a water leak, call the experts at Restoration and Recovery Contractors of America at (850) 601-3029 or contact us. Our highly-trained and fully certified residential and commercial restoration techs are available 24/7 and we make it a priority to respond within 1-3 hours.