Three Mistakes To Avoid When Your Home Floods

Posted on: 24 March 2017

Whether it's caused by torrential rains, over-saturated soils, or a simple pipe burst in the basement, a flood can be a major source of fear and stress. You don't want to make matters worse, though, so avoid making any of the following mistakes.

#1: Venturing into the flood waters

Your first instinct may be to head into the basement to survey the damage, but this could be the worst thing that you do. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, if the water is still rising it is possible to become trapped in the basement, which could lead to injury or drowning. Even if the water is receding or relatively low, there are still electrical hazards.

Raw sewage could also be an issue in some instances. Your first task is to make sure the electricity is cut off to the flooded area, or to the whole house if necessary. If the water is coming from a broken pipe, you will also need to shut off the water main. Call a professional to do these if the breaker box or shutoff valve is in the basement.

#2: Leaving stuff in the flood area

Don't be tempted to leave anything in the flooded area once the water recedes. You may think something is impervious to water damage, but it could trap water beneath it that could harm your flooring or even the basic structure of the home.

Once it is safe to do so, move everything out of the basement and to a dry area as soon as you can. Fabric items, in particular, need to be dried quickly. You can use your washing machine and dryer to clean many textiles. Larger items, like upholstery, will need have as much moisture sucked from them as possible using a commercial extractor. This can also be used on rugs and carpets.

#3: Skipping the mold treatment

Even if you act fast and get everything dried quickly, mold can become an issue. You may not even be aware that mold is invading until a few weeks after the flood. Other than drying everything quickly, the best thing you can do to prevent mold spores from taking hold is to wipe down every surface in the flooded area with a mold treatment. Generally, any diluted bleach solution will kill mold, although you can use a specific mold-targeting cleaner if desired. Walls, tiles, furniture, and baseboards are examples of what you need to wipe down. If you are worried about damaging the surface, test the cleaner you choose in a hidden area first.

For more help after a flood, contact a restoration and remediation company like Boss Systems Carpet Cleaning.