It’s no secret that storm season seems to get worse every year, and here in the Midwest, this is no exception. Recently, tornadoes have touched down in Oklahoma and surrounding states, and in some areas, even left “baseball-sized hail” in their wake. At Flood Rescue, we are committed to making sure local homeowners are completely protected if their house experiences water damage following a severe weather event. From water extraction to leak detection, our team offers services to ensure your home gets up and running again ASAP. However, it’s important to act quickly if your house is hit by a storm, and to create a plan of action ahead of time. Keep reading to learn what to do after a severe storm causes flood and water damage, and remember that for all your storm damage mitigation needs, you can always count on our experts at Flood Rescue.
5 Steps You Must Take If Your Home Experiences Water Damage During a Storm
- Safely Check Your Home for Safety Hazards: The safety of yourself and your family should always be paramount in the wake of a storm. If your property is badly flooded or has experienced water damage to the extent that it is dangerous for you to be there, don’t try to investigate. And even if your property has experienced storm damage that is not an immediate threat, make sure to look out for potential hazards as you navigate the premises. Watch out for broken glass, exposed nails, and anything else that could be sharp. You should also function under the assumption that any downed power lines are energized, and remain no less than ten feet away until the utility company or other proper authorities tell you otherwise. This is especially true if there is standing water on the property, and for that matter, you should avoid standing water in general, since it can be tough to tell if a sewage leak has occurred. Shut off the gas lines right away if you have not already done so and call your gas company before turning your lines back on. Finally, never walk around in a damaged area at night, and check local news reports to see if your area is safe before assessing/returning to your property.
- Document Damage: For the sake of both the restoration and insurance process (more on that below,) it is important to document any damage that has occurred to your property as thoroughly as possible. Take pictures of dents and holes in the furniture, broken window panes and damaged frames, glass that has been broken and shingles that have fallen off, and of course, take stock of any kind of water damage. This could include discoloration in your siding, paint, bricks, flooring, walls, and other surfaces, cracking and splitting that has occurred in wood, as well as gutters and downspouts that have been broken, and are unable to divert water from your roof. Whether or not you have a sump pump, there may also be standing water in the basement, and if there is excess moisture left anywhere on your property, start looking for mold. Mold growth can occur startlingly fast after water damage, so it is never too early to keep an eye out for this nasty organic material.
- Contact Your Insurance Company: Part of the reason you will want to document storm damage right away is that you will need it when you talk to your insurance provider. This should also be done in the first 24 hours following storm and flood damage, as your insurance company is less likely to provide you with compensation the longer you wait to begin the assessment process. You should keep receipts of any living expenses you incur while waiting to reenter your home after a storm too, and include them in your insurance claim. And always check your policy ahead of time, since homeowner’s insurance tends to be very specific when it comes to water damage. The unfortunate reality is that your insurer will probably work as hard as possible not to provide you with full compensation, so the faster you act and the more you document things, the better chance you have of receiving full coverage on our claim. You also shouldn’t hesitate to talk to your insurance agent about emergency service providers, like Flood Rescue. Remember, it is the insurance provider’s job to work with companies like ours in order to guarantee the restoration process goes as smoothly as possible.
- Perform Simple Repairs: If your house’s storm damage is not too extensive, you can begin to perform a few simple repairs on your own. This should only be done after all damage has been assessed, and once you have contacted your insurance provider to file a claim. While severe water damage will require a professional, you can feel free to do things like board up windows, sweep up glass, and throw away items that cannot be restored. For almost everything else however, your best bet is to…
- Hire a Water Damage Restoration Company: Hiring a professional and trustworthy water and flood damage restoration company can make the difference between a full recovery following a storm and years of problems and repairs. Luckily, at Flood Rescue, our experts know exactly how to help your home recover from a flood. We respond promptly to every message we receive, and provide same-day service so we can start the restoration process as soon as possible. We are also available for free inspections, and with extensive experience working with insurers to get your claim processed and approved, you can always rely on Flood Rescue to go above and beyond when your home has been through a storm.