Five Things You Can Do to Minimize Flood Damage
If you live in an area that is at more risk of flood than others, you need to understand your responsibilities. You might wonder, does my property need flood insurance? In some places, you are required to carry it. But if your insurer doesn’t require flood insurance, this does not mean you’re necessarily safe from flood damage.
If you’re in a situation where your home is flooded, you’ll need to bring in flood damage restoration companies to clean it up. But does insurance cover flooding? If your insurance provider does, they can often pay some or all of the money for the repairs. However, if your homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding, you might be left with a large bill to pay.
Does My House Need Flood Insurance?
If you live in a flood-heavy area, then yes, it likely does. In this situation, you’ll either need to buy separate insurance or make sure does my insurance cover flood damage. Make sure that you take care of this early. Otherwise, you might find yourself with unexpected massive expenses at a time when you’re expecting insurance to help you.
Do you have questions about water damage in the home whether or not can a flood damaged car be repaired? Are you dealing with water intrusion and related damages and repairs to your home? Are you confused about your insurance coverage and have questions like- does insurance cover flooding caused by pipes? For these and any other questions related to water damage and related cleanup and remediation services and coverage, you need the help of two local experts.
First, you need to talk to your local water remediation and repair experts. They can help you with the aftermath of water intrusion and assist with the cleanup process. They can also offer help such as basement waterproofing services and roof sealing products to help prevent future leak-related damage.
Then, you need to talk to your insurance company to find out what is and is not covered under your current home insurance policy. If you need to, you can talk to them about getting additional flood insurance coverage for future coverage and go over the benefits of flood insurance upgrades for your home.
No matter what your situation is, there is a solution and there are experts ready to help. So, make the calls and talk to the local experts today!
Every day in the United States, 14,000 people will have a water damage emergency either at home or at work. Almost every basement in the country–98%–will experience water damage at some point in its lifetime, and flooding repair claims cost insurance companies $2.5 billion every year. The average cost of a water damage insurance claim is close to $7,000! In fact, floods are a quite common natural disaster and the most widespread nationally after wildfires. When a sitting President declares a natural disaster, 90% of the time there is flooding involved.
There’s no doubt that water damage after home flooding is common and expensive to fix. The question for most people is, what can be done to minimize the damage? Assuming you’re doing everything you should to avoid flooding in the first place, here are eight things to do to minimize the consequences of flooding and make your flooding repair renovation as easy as possible.
- Invest in flooding insurance, whether you think you need it or not. If you live in a high-risk area, your mortgage lender almost certainly already requires you to carry flood insurance against a flooding repair claim. If you’re not in such a zone, the choice is up to you. Just know that flooding repair can be very expensive, and your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it. You should also know that about 20% of all flood insurance claims come from areas considered moderate to low risk for flooding.
- After a flood, protect yourself and take pictures. If a flood was so bad that you had to leave your home, the first step when you return is to turn off all power. You don’t want to be standing in water when the power comes back on. If you go in the water, remember it could contain chemicals and sewage, so wear protective gear and never eat any food that came in contact with flood water. Take plenty of pictures for your insurance company before you do any flood repair of any kind. Otherwise, you risk a potential decrease in coverage.
- Call the insurers and determine your status. As soon as possible, call the insurance company. Explain to them the state of things and send pictures, and tell them what flooding repair or home repair you’re planning to do. Follow their directions to ensure full coverage. You’ll also want to find out if you’re in a declared disaster zone, since this will give you access to more services and financial assistance for flooding repair.
- Remove the water and stop the mold. Mold can start growing in a moist area in as little as 24 hours, so once the insurer says you can remove the water, get a sump pump and get it out of there. Open doors and windows, if possible, to get fresh air circulating. Remove everything that got wet as soon as you can, and if it was wet for less than 48 hours, it might be possible to salvage. Let your insurance company know if you’re removing anything to attempt to salvage it, and take pictures of all items. Be aware that large pieces of furniture are sometimes impossible to get dry and will often just have to be thrown out. To stop mold, clean surfaces with pine oil and a 10% bleach solution. Photograph the height of the damage on your walls and then poke holes at the level of the floor to allow trapped water to escape. Call some general contractors or home repair specialists to assess your next steps.
- Protect your home. The insurance company will consider you responsible to protect your home from more damage to the best of your ability. This means tarps, boards on windows, or whatever you can do. Take pictures of what you’ve done. If you can continue to live there, be cautious. If you can’t, find out from your insurer what they can do to help you with temporary housing.
Follow these steps to minimize flood damage as well as ensure your safety and full coverage from your insurance company.
If you find yourself experiencing a flood problem that requires emergency water damage restoration then you need to have a flood emergency plan. Whether it is a simple flood or a major one, it is best to have flood insurance so that professionals can begin to clean up immediately and salvage your belongings while you make an inventory of what has been damaged in the process. However, if you are not insured for flooding then your home insurance will most likely not cover any damage or loss resulting from your flood problem, but should it be a flood that has been declared as a federal disaster then you can apply for disaster relief online from the government Disaster Assistance website. Before asking yourself “How much damage can a flood do?”, make sure that you have gone through important steps such as checking if your electrical system has been affected, that you have backup water and food that isn’t contaminated, and that all furniture and carpets have been removed from the premises. The company that executes your emergency water damage restoration needs to assess any open flooded walls and find ways to remove and prevent any molding and potential structural decay that can cause health risks in the future.