What to Do When Your Home is Flooded

09 Oct, 2023

Turn off everything and secure your home

In the event of a flood, safety should be the number one priority. Water and electricity don’t mix well, so the first step should be to secure your home and mitigate any hazards from your electrical system or plumbing. Even if your power is out, if it is safe to do so, find your fuse box and turn off the main breaker along with each individual fuse. You’ll also want to stop the water from flowing if you can. If your home is flooding because of a leaky pipe or something of that nature, turn off your water immediately. Once the water and electricity are off, you’ll want to check the structural integrity of your home. Look for holes in the floor or ceiling, piles that have moved beneath the floor, or broken glass. If there is structural damage, it’s advised you exit your home and do not enter again without the permissions or authorities.

Start documenting everything

If it’s safe to do so, the next thing you should do before you enter cleanup mode is begin to document everything. This will become especially important for our next step, when you have to get in contact with your insurance company. It will save you plenty of time (and even money) if your flooded home is well documented. If you have any valuable papers, store them somewhere dry like your freezer until they’re needed later on. Then, take as many photographs and videos as you can of your home, including any damage to your home or personal property and standing water.

Start documenting everything

Another step in the flood recovery process that should be gotten to right away is calling your home and contents insurance provider. If you want the restoration process to move as fast as possible, calling them sooner rather than later would be a good idea. You’ll want to get your claim moving ASAP. Quite often in big weather events, insurance call centers and phone lines get busy and face long delays. You can call Chem-Dry immediately on 0800 CHEMDRY, to lodge your flood job directly with us. We work with all insurance companies and can get you into the queue quickly, and work with your insurance for your policy. Home and contents insurance varies depending on the policy you have, but in many cases, you’ll be covered if the flood occurred due to burst pipes, broken appliances, mains pipes or mother nature. After you place your initial call to get the ball rolling, your insurance company will provide a work instruction to Chem-Dry to reach out to you to visit for a make safe, water extraction, decontamination and drying.

Get a head start on cleanup

While you’re waiting for the flood response team to arrive at your home, it won’t hurt to get a jump on some of the cleanup. This will help your technicians hugely to get straight into the important task of water extraction. The first thing you can do to speed up the restoration process, if it’s safe to enter your home, is to start removing furniture and contents. Just getting it out of the way could reduce the damage, but it also clears the way for professionals to enter when they arrive. Furniture, belongings and whatever you can grab can be taken outside.

After you’ve moved all the furniture you can get your hands on, you can also start addressing standing water. Depending on the amount of water you’ve got, you can use buckets or brooms. The faster you can you remove water the better – this greatly affects the size of the loss, helping salvage furniture and even potentially walls and cabinets. Check with your insurer before disposing of anything first, floor coverings included.

Be mindful of the water source of your flood. If the water has come from a wastewater pipes, sewerage or from groundwater flooding outside coming inside your home or property, there could be a host of dangerous contaminants. Make sure that you wear appropriate safety protection like gloves and a mask. Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Flood waters often contain dangerous bacteria that can cause severe illness so be careful with everything that you touch.

The next time flooding impacts your home, call the flood water damage professionals at Chem-Dry. As New Zealand’s nationwide carpet cleaning and flood restoration company, we respond to all major weather events across the country, and are equipped with the latest industrial drying equipment. Contact us today at 0800 CHEMDRY or complete this form to get a free quote.