House flooding is more than just an inconvenience. It can prevent a serious health hazard if not attended to right away! While you’re waiting for the professionals to come and fix the flooded area, here are just 10 ways to minimize the damage.
- Shut Off Your Water Supply: It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many house flooding victims don’t think of this simple step in the middle of a panic attack. If the problem is coming from burst pipes or flooding appliances, turn off the water at the source. Unplug it if necessary. You may even need to call your water company and have it shut off completely.
- Save Your Belongings: Your first priority should be electronics; not only are they expensive to replace when ruined, but they can also turn a house flood into a short-circuiting disaster zone. Your next step should be wooden furniture or anything else especially susceptible to water damage.
- Buy a Sump Pump: While most water removal equipment should only be used by trained professionals, a sump pump is relatively easy to operate and can be used by just about anyone to clear up a house flood. Just make sure you read the instructions carefully!
- Close Your Windows: You might be tempted to air out a room that’s starting to smell, but standing water is an open invitation to mosquitoes and other insects that will also be attracted to, say, the smells of food from a flooded kitchen. Keep your windows closed.
- Look Up Specifics: How did the flood start? Use your smartphone to research exact details for containing the situation. For example, if your water heater burst, you’ll need to turn off the breaker or valve to stop it from automatically refilling.
- Keep Your Walls Dry: Once the home flood has been stopped, contained or redirected, it’s time to direct your attention to saving your walls before they suffer permanent water damage. Use a fan or dehumidifier to dry them out. You can even use a hair dryer on low heat for particularly bad patches. Just take care not to burn your wall!
- Ventilate Cracks and Crevices: If your house flooding has caused or been caused by interior cracks, it’s important to ventilate them to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Once these things take hold in your walls, it’s extremely difficult to eliminate them.
- Freeze Your Valuables: It may sound strange, but freezing certain items inside plastic bags can save them from a soggy death. It’s especially useful for things like shoes that also attract odors with water damage.
- Clear Out the Mud: This is a particular concern of basement and other low-level house flooding. You’ll want to clear the mud from the area as soon as possible; it can carry contaminants of all kinds through your windows and onto every surface of your home.
- Soak, Don’t Wipe: When trying to save waterlogged documents and furniture, the proper technique is to soak it up, not wipe it off. Wiping will only spread the moisture even further, especially if it’s ink or paint-based.
These are just a few quick tips for surviving a home flood. Please note that only trained flood removal specialists can permanently fix your home; these are simply meant to tide you over until the experts arrive.