One of the most damaging and devastating things you can ever experience as an Omaha homeowner is a flood. There are many causes of household flooding including:
- Heavy rains
- Sewer back-up
- Malfunctioning sump-pump
- Burst pipes
No matter what the cause, you should still know what you should do if your Omaha house floods. Taking care of the problem earlier will help reduce the amount of water damage after and will make cleaning your Omaha home easier.
Tips to Cleaning Omaha Home After Water Damage
Your success in restoration really depends on how long the water has been flooding for. It is important to check for articles of furniture that can be saved, and sometimes, even carpet, but any electronics hit by water are most likely doomed. Preventing mold growth is key to keeping your home’s air clean and healthy. So in addition to calling your insurance company, here are a few tips to cleaning Omaha home after water damage.
Safety First When Cleaning Omaha Home After Water Damage
The first step in any major home disaster is to remain safe. You may be forced to leave your home if the flooding is bad enough. Make sure you are also safe when you return to your home to begin dealing with the aftermath. This may include turning off the power, as water and electricity obviously do not mix. Be sure to wear protective clothing–such as rubber boots and gloves–when you reenter your home. Not only will you be dealing with the water itself, but also whatever else the water has been in contact with, namely debris or even sewage. It is best to protect yourself against whatever harmful chemicals and items the flooding may have washed in.
Be sure to never eat food that has been contaminated by flood waters, or even in close proximity to the water for an extended period of time. If the water was high enough to reach your refrigerator or any of your pantry cabinets, it is safest practice to go ahead and throw the food away and just buy more. Be sure to thoroughly wash any dinnerware, glasses, and flatware that might have been caught in the house flood before you use it again.
Unplug any electronics, and remove electronics, furniture and movable items immediately. The faster you get items out of water’s way, the more likely you’ll be able to save them. Pull up any carpets (wall to wall and area rugs) and underpadding. You may be able to salvage the carpet if you get it cleaned and disinfected.
Get Rid of the Water
There are several ways to get rid of the water. If you don’t have power, or are worried about loose wires, the old-fashioned, manual way will work. Use old towels, buckets and mops to soak up as much water as possible. As long as sewers in your neighborhood aren’t backed up, you can pour the water down the drain, otherwise, pour onto your lawn or other permeable surface. A wet/dry vacuum can be used too. Getting rid of all the water and drying out the area is the most important thing you can do to prevent mold growth.
Drying Out Your Omaha Home
Even if you are successful in removing all of the standing water from your home, everything will remain damp and wet, especially if heavy rains have increased the humidity in your area. If you have power, use your air conditioning and portable fans to help dry the wet areas of your home.
Dehumidifiers are also a big help, especially in closed off spaces such as basements or crawl spaces. Dehumidifiers work by removing excess moisture from the air. This is the easiest way to dry out your home and minimize the potential water damage you might be dealing with, as it does not require you to actively clean. However, in the case of a house flood, dehumidifiers are only supplemental and you are likely to need multiple methods of action. Dehumidifiers are recommended for anyone who lives in a damp climate or an area that experiences longer rainy seasons, as they can prevent some of the problems associated with this type of weather, both for you and your home.
Calling the Insurance Company
Your homeowners’ insurance will vary depending on what policies you have. Many insurance companies cover flooding due to:
- backed-up city sewers and storm drains
- broken sump-pumps
- burst pipes
The insurance company will send an adjuster to look at and assess the damage and determine if it is a covered loss. If your losses and damages are covered, the sooner you call the insurance company, the sooner they will pay out. Repairs can become costly, but the insurance money will help get your home back in order quicker with less of a financial burden on you.
Your insurance company may not be able to send an adjuster right away, especially if your flooding is part of a larger weather event. Document values of everything and take as many photos as possible before, during, and after clean-up. This will help the adjuster when he or she is able to come assess the damage.
Dispose of damaged items responsibly
You will be tempted to throw everything into a dumpster and send it all away and out of site. But if you can organize damaged goods into piles and take what you can to recycling centers, you will help alleviate the pressure on your local landfill site.
If there is a large amount of mold or flood damage, you may want to hire a professional to help you clean up. Ask your homeowner insurance company for a recommendation. People with asthma, allergies or other breathing problems may be more sensitive to mold.
What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Omaha Home After a Flood?
Failure to completely clean up your home after a house flood can lead to severe and costly damage that can affect the hidden corners of your home without you even realizing it. Not only can this damage the structural integrity of your home, but it can lead to costly repairs for your electrical system, HVAC, etc.
Above all, failure to clean up after your house floods can create perfect conditions for mold to grow, which can lead to illness. Mold can be unpleasant–even dangerous, for some people. Mold can cause severe allergy symptoms as well as lead to asthma, which is particularly dangerous for children and the elderly. However, there are things you can do to prevent the growth of mold after a house flood, including the use of special equipment, chemicals, and utilizing a professional company.
H2O Pros | Restoration Water Damage Omaha Services
In any case that you have a basement flood, or any other type of water damage in your home or building, give us a call or fill out our contact form. Flood damage never happens at a convenient time, and that is why H2O Pros in Omaha makes it a priority to be available for you around the clock, 365 days a year.
Our commitment is satisfaction, safety, and the most efficient water damage cleanup project possible. Here are a few more benefits for hiring a water damage remediation company in Omaha:
- Speed and Efficiency
- Minimizing Financial Loss
Give us call for any flood or water damage inside your residential or commercial properties.