Call For a Fast Quote
Call For a Fast Quote

Get Help Today
What to do when your House Floods
Get Help Today

What to do when your House Floods

by Team CallAPro

Flood damage can come out of nowhere from a variety of sources. Flash flooding outside your home is something you can't control, but many internal sources of a house flood can be stopped quickly before the damage gets too bad. Find out what to do after a flood to minimize the impact.

What Steps Do You Need to Take in the Immediate Aftermath of a Flood?

Your first steps after a house flood should be to keep your family safe and minimize water damage. Follow these tips for what to do after a flood if your home is taking on water.

Step 1: Stop the Source of the House Flood

If your house flood was caused by an internal water issue, such as a leaking water heater, broken pipe, clogged drain or sump pump issues, do what you can to stop the water and limit the flooding. For example, if you have a burst pipe, shut off the water main to stop more water from flowing through the pipes. If your sump pump stops working, see if you can get it going again.

Step 2: Ensure Your Family's Safety

Safety should always be your priority in a flooding situation. You might need to leave your home temporarily to keep your family safe. If you leave due to a natural disaster, follow the instructions of local authorities regarding evacuations and when it's safe to return. Check the structural integrity of your home before entering if you had a major house flood.

Step 3: Shut Off Your Gas and Electricity

Shutting off your utilities helps keep you and your home safe. Electricity and water are a dangerous combination, so you don't want your power on while you're cleaning up. Shutting off your gas supply prevents gas leaks while you're working. Ensure everything is safe before turning your utilities back on.

Step 4: Document Everything

Taking photos before you start the cleanup process helps document the flood damage. Show how high the water got in your flooded house, where the water went and what items were in the flood water. Take close-up photos of specific damage before you make any repairs. This can help you get the maximum coverage from your insurance company for the flood damage. It's also helpful to keep receipts for any supplies you buy and repairs you do.

Step 5: Remove the Water

The water in your flooded house could be full of sewage, chemicals and other dangerous contaminants, so safety is a priority when removing the water. Waterproof boots or waders can limit your contact with the water. When removing damaged items or building materials from your home, wear rubber gloves to limit contact with contaminants.

Step 6: File an Insurance Claim

Once you get the immediate flooding situation under control, file an insurance claim to get financial assistance quickly. You should generally contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the flooding happens. Not all flood damage is covered by regular homeowners insurance. Your regular insurance will typically cover water damage that's sudden and accidental, such as an appliance that leaks or a broken pipe. Some rain damage could be covered, such as water damage after a tree branch damages your roof. Natural flooding isn't covered by homeowners insurance, but you can file a claim if you have a separate flood insurance policy.

Step 7: Clean Up the Mess

Once the water is out of your home, you can start sorting through your belongings to decide what to keep or throw away. You'll also need to sanitize any surfaces that came into contact with the flood water. Many materials, such as drywall and carpeting, will need to be torn out of your home and replaced.

Step 8: Get Professional Help

Some repairs might require professional help, especially if the flood damage is significant. Water restoration companies can help dry out your home, salvage as much as possible and deal with mold. Plumbers can help repair broken pipes or appliance damage. You can also use contractors to tear out damaged materials and replace them.

What to Throw Away After a House Flood

Flood damage can destroy materials in your home's structure and belongings inside your home. Unfortunately, some items in a flooded house aren't salvageable and should be tossed. You can often save clothes since they can be washed and sanitized multiple times to get all the flood water out of them.

However, many soft items can't be saved. This includes sofas, cushions, pillows, mattresses and stuffed animals that were under the flood water. Since the dirty water saturates these items, there's no way to thoroughly remove all the dirty water from the stuffing. If you can easily sanitize items, you may be able to salvage them.