The best thing to do when you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having a house flooded is call your insurance company. There’s nothing worse than having to live in a house with mold and mildew and not knowing until you get the word out from your insurance agent that there is a flood risk. Many people make the mistake of ignoring the need to have their homes inspected for water damage after it has happened. This can lead to not only an insurance claim but also the loss of a home altogether. Before you decide to ignore the problem, call the water removal service for your area and ask them to come out as soon as possible. Here are some of the things they will do for you:
After your house has been flooded, it becomes more likely that there will be mold or mildew outbreak. This could very well mean the difference between having your insurance claim paid and having to pay high medical bills due to exposure to toxic mold spores. This is just one reason why you should call your insurance provider right away. When a large amount of water has entered your home and has gotten into the crawlspace, the mold spores will start to grow quickly. If you are not able to dry out your home as soon as possible, then you risk the possibility of not being able to have your insurance claim paid.
As soon as your house has been flooded, it is advisable to call a real estate agent who deals with flood insurance. He/She will know how much coverage you need and how much mold and mildew coverage you need. Make sure you disclose exactly what has happened (including the amount of water and any pets that were inside at the time). The agent will also know if your property has any detached basements and how much coverage (if any) you will need for them. You may also need to obtain permits (depending on the state) to raise the flood protection level on your property.
If your house was flooded, but no one in your household lost his/her life, then the federal government will be responsible for paying for your damages. The Department of Transportation (DOT) will handle the damage assessment. The Insurance Information Institute (II) will handle the claims process for you (as a policyholder). Make sure you notify the II immediately upon learning of your flooding, along with a copy of any photographs documenting the damage. The II will process your claim as quickly as possible, but it can take several weeks before the agency receives your claim.
If you are dealing with a private insurance provider, you will likely be dealing with a property owner’s insurance company, or an insurer that insures rental properties. If the house flooding was caused by someone living in the home, then your insurance company will likely handle the claim. If it was someone from another building, the insurance provider will likely be the one to handle the claim. For insurance companies, house flooding is usually one of their top business lines because there are so many claims from such a large population.
When your house is flooded, you have to take care of all the things you own. You will need to ensure that all of your flood-damaged belongings are moved to dry places, and that they are completely dried before you put them in storage. There are several storage options available to you. If you have flood insurance, then you should have an extra duplicate policy from your insurance company to hold your other possessions. If not, you will probably be able to get a container for them to be stored in.
Another important item to remember during a flood situation is your personal sanitation habits. It is absolutely necessary to dispose of all garbage that has been generated due to flooding. Paper, cans, bottles, and all carpeting must be disposed of correctly and in a sanitary manner. Mold and mildew growing after water has soaked items should be removed immediately, using carpet deodorizers and heat disinfectants, which can also help kill mold spores.
After the flooding has been repaired and your belongings cleared out, you should pay special attention to your dry wall. This is extremely important as it is the weakest point of your home. If you notice any cracks in your dry wall, then you should contact a home improvement contractor right away. These types of damages can lead to further water damage and mold growth should you not repair them promptly. If you do not call a contractor on time, then you risk allowing mold to grow and affecting your health and causing structural damage to your home. Be proactive in addressing any and all flooding problems that you come across, and make sure to follow all instructions given by your contractors.