There are many risks to your home, but few are as insidious as flooding. Indeed, floods are deceptively destructive, and though a home may appear intact, an entire lifetime of memories can be washed away. If your home has suffered from flooding, then it is essential to understand what needs to be done in order to start the process of rebuilding.
1. Be safe. Some floods are localized, and others have a wider impact. Make sure your neighborhood has been deemed safe by local authorities, and do not enter any areas that have not been cleared by officials. Moreover, once you get inside your home, use proper safety gear. Protective gear is essential because the water may be contaminated with sewage and more.
2. Document everything. For some people, taking pictures is a part of remembering what happened. However, after a flood, it can also be an important way to ensure proper insurance payouts. You will have to talk to your insurance company to see what your policy covers. Having documentation of the damage at all stages can be a helpful tool to make your case.
3. Remove water. Even when the flood waters recede, some may still linger in your home. This is especially common in basements and crawlspaces. If water is still present in the home, then it must be removed as quickly as possible. Before removing the water, you should check with your insurance company. While it is possible to remove some water by hand, a sump pump can make the job go much faster.
4. Check structural integrity. Water can have a damaging effect on the foundation of your home. If water has overly saturated the support structure of your home, it may become unstable. Therefore, before continuing any work, you should have the home assessed to ensure that it will not collapse in any fashion.
5. Assess mold. Even when the water is gone, a flood’s damage can leave a lasting impact. One of the most dangerous ways this happens is with mold. Mold grows in moist climates, and it thrives in damp carpets, wood, drywall and more. Mold is not only unsightly, but it can also lead to health complications. Worst of all, mold can be hard to find. It starts to grow in dark, dank places that are not always visible.
6. Get professional help. Because of the dangers of mold and other flood damage, it is imperative to get the professional support you need to start the rebuilding process. For homeowners with flood damage in New Jersey, please contact Flood and Mold NJ. With more than 20 years of experience, Flood and Mold NJ can help you get through this difficult time.