How to Do Flood Remediation
If your home has been flooded, you are not alone. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, flooding is the most common natural disaster. Flooding can potentially occur anywhere. Concentrations of impervious surfaces in urban settings place these areas at risk by removing land that could absorb flood waters. Flood mediation can be a long-term process, depending upon the extent of the damage. Do not begin remediation efforts until your area has been declared safe by local authorities.
Inspect the area around your home before entering it after a flood. Flooding can cause structural damage that may make your home unsafe to enter.
Photograph your home and any obvious signs of damage for insurance purposes. Photographs will document your claim and expedite the claim process.
Wear boots and gloves when entering your home as you begin flood remediation. Wear a dust mask or N-95 respirator, available at hardware stores. Wearing a mask prevents exposure to airborne mold that may be present in the building.
Open windows for ventilation after turning off the electricity and gas in the home. Inspect walls and floors for damage. Be aware that you may not be able to remove mold from porous surfaces such as drywall. Replacement may be the only option.
Document any damage with photographs, including any discarded items. Make a list of these items, with purchase information if available. Note any lost items as well.
Begin by washing dirt and debris from walls and floors using a garden hose. Wipe walls with towels. Run a fan or dehumidifier to speed drying using a portable generator.
Clean walls and furniture with a disinfectant or mild chlorine bleach solution. Always test cleaning products on a small inconspicuous area for possible bleaching or staining of the material.
Remove all window dressings. Wash curtains and small rugs with detergent and a mild chlorine bleach solution. Use vinegar instead for fabrics that may be damaged by use of bleach.
Arrange to have carpets professionally cleaned. Hire a professional who has experience dealing with flood damage.
Contact a specialist if you're in doubt of how to clean other items in the home such as your heating system or air conditioner. Keep track of all costs and receipts for services performed.
Contact a licensed well contractor to inspect your well if you have a private water supply. Do not drink water from household taps until the well and its water have been deemed safe.
Prepare your insurance claim. Gather all photographs and lists. Have ready your policy number and contact information. Complete the Proof of Loss form, provided by your insurance agent. This document is required before you can receive your claim and fund your flood remediation.
Things You Will Need
- N-95 respirator or dust mask
- Bleach or vinegar
- Flood-proof your home as you clean up. Place appliances and any storage boxes on blocks or pallets. Remember to include irreplaceable items such as family photographs.
- Do not enter your home if smell gas. Contact your utility company for assistance.
- Do not enter your home if there is standing water to prevent possible shocks from electric appliances.