What To Do When Your House is Flooded

What To Do When Your House is Flooded

Sometimes the unexpected happens to your home. Of the events that cause the most damage, flooding ranks as one of the top offenders.

Let's be honest: It's a reality in Metro Vancouver. It rains here the majority of the year. Plus, the accidental risk of pipes bursting or water tank leaks make this possibility a potential reality.

As a homeowner, it is important to know what to do in the event of a flood in order to maximize your safety and the amount of coverage you will get for home repairs.

Has your home recently flooded?

If you are here because your home has just experienced water damage due to a flood, you will need to act quickly to get the best possible coverage for your damages.

First of all, if your home isn?t safe to stay in, then get to a safe place. Your personal well-being should be your first priority. Next, you should call your insurance company as soon as possible to notify them of the incident.

Home Flooding 101

Your house can flood after a period of excessive rain from hurricanes or tornadoes. It can also occur from ground water or a home water system malfunction.

It may happen unexpectedly or you may have had some warning. Either way, the effects of a flood on a home can be devastating and costly.

Floods can do some major damage to your home, which is why they should be reported immediately to your insurance company:

  • Structural Problems
  • Mold/Mildew Problems
  • Health/Safety issues
These three reasons are enough to take home flooding seriously and to take every precaution to ensure everyone?s safety if it occurs. Also, make a claim as soon as possible to decrease the impact this event will have on your finances.

Step 1: Shut down the electricity.

If you find water in your home, you need to turn off your home?s main power and all the individual fuse connections. Water and electricity don?t mix and it is better to shut down your power immediately for your safety.

Step 2: BEFORE REPAIRS, make a good case for your insurance claim.

Document, photograph, and give as much information as possible! Before removing water or making repairs, you need to make a record of all the damage that took place. If you have a smartphone or camera, take photos and videos of all the areas that have sustained damage.

The more information you have, the better.

Though it is tempting to want to fix your house as soon as possible, it would be difficult to be reimbursed for all the damage if you do not document and record the full extent of the initial damage.

Your insurance company will need to determine the cause of the flood. Since groundwater is not usually covered, you must make sure to provide enough information for them to determine what the cause was to maximize your coverage. The information you provide will be a great help in bolstering your claim.

Step 3: Let them know what repairs you intend to do.

Let your insurance company know what your plans are. They will then tell you what to do. You may need to wait for an adjuster to come by and inspect your home, or you may be given permission to proceed.

In this entire process, document your conversations with the agents you speak with, writing down their names and what they instructed you to do.

Follow the guidelines of your insurance company precisely to make sure that the repairs won?t come out of your pocket.

Step 4: When your insurer gives you the green light, go.

Only after you get approval from your insurance company, it is time to get to work. First, remove the water from your home. You can use a sump pump or shop vac for water removal.

You can also hire contractors to help you out, provided that you have informed your insurance company and they have approved of their use.

Step 5: Get rid of wet and damp items in your home.

Toss out wet bedding, rip out carpets and anything else that is wet or damp. According to The Province of British Columbia, mold can grow just a day or two after a flood, which greatly decreases your indoor air quality and poses health risks.

This includes your floors. Perhaps you have synthetic flooring materials like vinyl that can be salvaged. These floors can be taken out, dried, and reinstalled after your house is back in order.

Organic materials and carpets, however, have difficulty surviving floods and are likely to be discarded so mold and mildew do not grow in your home.

You should also let your insurance company know that you are removing items from your home as well so this doesn?t negatively impact your coverage. Take pictures of all the damaged items and keep them for your records.

Step 6: Follow official guidelines for your health.

In the event of a home flooding, you need to be careful about your health. Water damaged items can be contaminated with chemicals and waste that get mixed with flood waters. Clean anything you want to keep thoroughly but throw out any food that was submerged.

When your water utility is back in service, follow The Province of British Columbia?s guidelines and boil all water you drink before your local authorities say that the local water is potable again.

Do you want to know more?

Do you have any questions about home floods or anything else? If so, please leave a comment below and we would be happy to get in touch with you.

About Shawn Farina: Flooring Expert at Diverse Flooring

Shawn Farina operates Diverse Flooring, a family-run business in Maple Ridge, with his younger brother, Todd. He has been in the flooring industry for 18 years. Shawn is passionate about design and feels flooring has been a great avenue to help others make the best decisions for their homes.

When you come to Diverse Flooring, there's a strong chance the person you interact with is either Shawn or Todd. There's nothing better than dealing with the owners themselves.

Flooring is something we all will at one time or another have to purchase. It's really satisfying feeling to see when a client is truly happy with their choice in both the new flooring and our company.

Shawn Farina

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