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What To Do When Your House Starts Flooding: The Emergency Guide

Homeowners often consider which hazards their property is susceptible to and take steps to reduce the risk of fires. However, while flood damage might not seem as destructive as a fire, it can cause irreparable damage to your house and compromise your safety.

Floods are common in New York, with the Extension Disaster Education Network estimating an average of 83 episodes yearly, which causes around $135.7 million in losses.

If your home falls victim to a flood, acting quickly can minimize the damage and protect your personal belongings. This guide will reveal everything you need to know about house floods, including how to react immediately.

Jump to sections:

What causes house floods?

How to deal with a flooded home

Flood damage safety tips

Flood damage restoration services

What causes house floods?

There are various causes of floods, but they all have one thing in common; they can cause irreparable damage to your property and compromise the safety of its inhabitants. While there are many ways to prevent floods, some events make it near impossible.

Let’s look at the most common causes of flooding in New York.

Faulty appliances

When you think about the number of appliances in the average home, it’s clear why they’re such a significant hazard. You should regularly check washing machines, dishwashers, and other appliances for leaks.

A small leak could turn into a massive flood, but using a device that alerts you to potential hazards is a way to reduce this from happening.

You should also pay attention to your appliances, checking them regularly to see if you notice any issues.

Broken pipes

Broken pipes can quickly wreak havoc on any property, especially if you don’t address the issue immediately. There are numerous causes of breakages, from poorly maintained lines to cracks that form in the colder months.

If you notice your pipes are making noises or there are minor signs of a leak, you should resolve the issue immediately. Once the line breaks and sends water into your home, flooding will be inevitable.

Unstable foundations

No home is safe without solid foundations, but that doesn’t mean yours is automatically protected. Like other areas of your property, the foundations can degrade and wear down over time, which

Clogs and drainage issues

Drainage problems are often noticeable because you’ll see the effects on your wall and floor. These problems can be caused due to flushing things down the toilet, putting food into the sink, and general blockages that you don’t fix.

Rain gutters also contribute to flood damage because if leaves and other debris gather, the gutters won’t divert water away from the property.

When this happens, the water will build up and flood the property. A simple way to avoid this occurring is by cleaning your gutters regularly.

Storms and natural disasters

Of course, flooding is a natural after-effect of a severe storm or heavy rainfall (two things New York is highly susceptible to). While there’s little you can do to protect your home from flooding in these circumstances, homes on higher ground are less likely to encounter flooding.

How to deal with a flooded home

So, if you’re dealing with a flood, you can do plenty of things to minimize damage and save your home. The first step is to remain calm and take stock of the situation instead of panicking and rushing to fix the damage.

Flood water could contain numerous bacteria, viruses, and dead animals, so your priority will be safety. However, you’ll also need to think about how to resolve any issues caused by the flood.

Our step-by-step guide allows you to treat your flooded house correctly:

  • Prioritize safety
  • Prevent more water from entering
  • Document the damage
  • Remove standing water
  • Dry the area
  • Call your insurance company
  • Cleanup
  • Repair the property
Let’s look at each step in more detail.
Always prioritize safety

It’s human nature to want to save all of your personal belongings, but safety should come before everything else. Remember, water is a natural conductor, and having it in your home can put you at risk of electric shocks.

Children and pets should be removed from the property, and you should also leave if you’re unsure how to switch off electrical systems and the water supply safely.

While some people feel OK with entering their property and performing countermeasures, others call a professional restoration company.

We offer a 24/7 emergency service and can attend your property anytime or night, ensuring you can keep your loved ones safe and reduce further damage during a house flood.

Stopping more water from entering the property

Stopping water sources might seem common sense, but people forget to do it in an emergency. Whether the water is coming from a defective sump pump, kitchen appliance, or sewer line, the first step is to stop the issue from worsening.

Natural disasters can also cause roof leaks or break windows, so it’s also a good idea to board any entry points up.

Documenting the damage

A flooded house will cause damage, and private insurance companies will (of course) try to reduce the amount they pay when you file an insurance claim. Taking photographs of the damage before beginning the remediation process could help you get the right compensation.

While providing evidence is essential, you shouldn’t compromise your health to take some photographs. Calling iFlooded Restoration can help because our specialists know how to maintain safety while assessing your property, ensuring you have evidence for the insurance adjuster.

Remove standing water

Standing water is a huge problem because it exposes your home to all sorts of bacteria. If a natural disaster occurs, or the flooding is due to backups from the sewer lines, the water could contain viruses and dead animals, which are significant health and safety hazards.

Standing water is also a breeding ground for mold growth, but removing as much moisture as possible facilitates a speedier drying and recovery process.

If you decide to remove the water alone, wear protective gear, as the bacteria can result in rashes and cause an infection if you have any cuts or abrasions on your skin.

Buckets can be OK for removing large amounts of water, but specialist equipment will make the job quicker. Our remediation process involves using industry-grade extraction tools which safely remove excess water without putting you at risk.

The drying process

Once you remove the standing water, you’ll have to dry out excess moisture to ensure there’s no water trapped in the walls or flooring. Moisture will almost always result in mold spores, and exposure to them can cause numerous health problems.

For example, mold can create allergic reactions and respiratory problems in some people, but it can also worsen pre-existing conditions such as asthma.

Pets are also at risk of mold exposure, which can compromise the structural integrity of your building, resulting in extensive repairs.

Some people use dehumidifiers and air-conditioning systems, but drying the property as soon as possible will reduce the risks of mold growth.

We use specialist extraction tools that work quickly to dry out the room and remove the risk of permanent damage.

Call your insurance company

Once the emergency work is complete, you can concentrate on the restoration process. Most homeowners in New York have some form of private flood insurance, and you’ll need to file a claim with your provider.

Once you file the claim, an adjuster will get in touch and arrange to visit the property to evaluate the damage. Depending on your coverage, the company will determine how much the restoration process will cost and offer you a payout.

Getting a remediation company to meet the insurer on-site can ensure you won’t be out of pocket when restoring your property.

The clean-up process

Unfortunately, drying the property is only part of the process. You’ll also have to clean everything up and sanitize it before people can enter the house again.

While some items are salvageable, you should also remember that flood water contains bacteria, and it might be best to dispose of affected belongings.

Cleaning and sanitizing your soft furnishings can repair the damage, but sometimes it’s best to replace furniture – especially if there’s a lot of excess moisture. Our upholstery cleaning services are included in our water damage restoration services.

As professional remediators, we can advise on which items you should dispose of and help you add them to your disaster-related expenses.

Repairing the property

If you don’t address the damage immediately, you could end up with some extensive repairs. For example, moisture could seep through the floorboards and into the drywall, which exposes them to mold spores.

You might need to remove them, perform a clean-up and replace your drywall and flooring, so it’s best to work with a specialist team.

Your insurance company will pay for the damage and repairs, but only if they feel you’re taking the right steps to do it safely.

Our team can also check your electrical outlets and repair broken windows or roofing, ensuring the property is 100% safe.

Flood Damage Safety Tips

There are some vital safety tips if you plan on dealing with the damage alone. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Wear protective clothing: Always cover your legs, arms, and even face when dealing with flood water. It contains many viruses, but rubber boots and gloves can be beneficial.

  • Reduce the chances of flood damage: While nobody can stop natural disasters from occurring, you can protect your property, including caring for your pipes and regularly checking for potential leaks.

  • Use dumpsters: Plastic bags might be accessible, but roll-off dumpsters are best for removing damaged items.

  • Prioritize your safety: Dealing with flood waters requires attention to detail, and if you’re not confident about staying safe, calling a professional remediation company is always best.

Need some help with flood damage? iFlooded Restoration's got you covered

As a professional remediation and restoration team, we deal with all types of flood and water damage in New York state. We offer a full-service solution to treat the root cause of your flood and prevent structural damage.

Our restoration and clean-up service offers:

  • A 24/7 emergency line. Call us anytime, and we’ll be there.

  • Support with insurance claims, including meeting the adjuster on site.

  • Certified specialists with access to industry-grade extraction, drying, and sanitization equipment.

  • Our dedicated team will go out of its way to salvage your items.

Flood damage can happen, even if you take all the necessary precautions, but it doesn’t need to ruin your life. We offer a proactive remediation service and guarantee professionalism throughout the journey.

Please feel free to contact us today for a free quote. We look forward to helping you recover from a flooded house.

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