No, but seriously, does your family have a plan? At Rapid Response we say when the water lets itself in, but we all know that means when your home floods. Do you know the steps to take or even the first things to start thinking about if water is coming from your ceiling? Or what about water leaking into your basement? Water could come through your windows or start making its own cracks in your home’s foundation.
A Few Steps To Take When Your Home Floods
1. Find a trustworthy professional and call them immediately.
The longer you wait, the more damage will occur – and if you’re in an area where there’s been significant rainfall or flooding in the last few hours, it’s a sure bet that all of the best professionals in the area are getting booked up. Make the call as soon as you know you need help to increase your odds of getting it in a timely fashion.
2. Beware dangerous electrical currents!
If the electricity in the area is still on, don’t step in standing water. It’s impossible to tell when there’s a dangerous electrical current running through water, so if you’re not completely sure, get a trusted professional on-site to help you evaluate the situation before you set foot in the space.
3. Check the ceiling.
If there’s water leaking from the ceiling or the ceiling is sagging, don’t enter the space until it’s been inspected by a professional. Water damage to the ceiling can cause it to collapse, and it’s impossible to know how much water it might just barely be holding up above you.
4. Start soaking up water.
Soak up as much water as possible with towels and any other absorbent material you have handy that you don’t mind getting wet. Don’t forget to remove these wet towels from the room, or the water they contain will evaporate right back into the air and eventually condensate on your other belongings, leading to mold growth.
5. Remove sensitive belongings immediately.
Even if they’re not already wet, remove photos, paintings, books, documents, and any other important belongings from the room as soon as possible, so the moisture in the air can’t damage them.
Don’t underestimate how much damage high humidity can do to these kinds of things, and definitely, don’t let them sit in a damp room even if the immediate danger has passed.
6. Raise or remove water-logged furniture.
Lift curtains up away from the floor with a coat hanger, or take them down and hang them up somewhere else where they can dry, like outside or in a bathroom with a fan running. If any dense items like cushions or pillows are wet, remove those to a different room if possible so they can dry without adding more moisture to the air.
Put furniture on bricks or cinder blocks, with foil underneath the base of the furniture to prevent moisture from evaporating upward and into the fabric or wood, and open up any wet drawers, cabinets, chests, or other compartments so moisture can escape from the insides and their contents.
7. Don’t move the carpet.
Carpet is one thing you don’t want to try to dry on your own since lifting it up can cause it to shrink, stretch, or otherwise warp. Wait for help to arrive and get professional advice on how to deal with drying or replacing the carpet.
8. Circulate and dehumidify the air.
As your belongings dry, it’s important to remove all of the extra moisture they’re releasing into the air so it can’t condensate on anything else and cause mold growth.
Start by putting multiple fans in the wet area to move air around and dry the perimeter, but be careful not to run their cords through any standing water. Then, run dehumidifiers to remove moisture as the water in the area evaporates. Don’t forget to empty the dehumidifiers as they fill up, so they continue to work efficiently.