How to deal with flood and water damage

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Summary: Learn the next steps for dealing with water damage to your property.


  • What is the first step when a flood causes water damage to your property?

  • How do you clean after a flood to avoid mold growth?

  • Are restoration specialists a good choice post flood?

A flood, whether man made or natural, will always be a disaster. Aside from the potential loss of life in case of a heavy one, a flood also brings catastrophic water damage. And when it hits your home or your place of business, you can expect to deal with water damage that will threaten not only your property and all your belongings inside it, but also the health of everyone who lives or works there.

For one, unwanted water in any part of a structure creates an environment that encourages the formation and growth of mold. For another, all that excess moisture also breeds bacteria which can make anyone sick. Add all of these to the possible structural damage that floodwater could cause, and you have an extremely compelling reason to deal with flood and water damage as soon as possible.

So how should you deal with flood and water damage in your property? Let’s take a look at some of the steps you will need to take.


Notify your insurance provider

Call your insurance company as soon as you see for yourself the extent of the water damage. Document everything by taking photos and videos of your property because those will be instrumental to the approval of your claim.

The type of policy you hold will determine the level of coverage you’ll get for the water damage. Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover water damage, but unless you have flood insurance, you might not be covered for groundwater flood damage. In any case, talk to your insurer just the same so they can make an assessment and take proper action.

As much as possible, refrain from cleaning up the place before a representative from your insurance company arrives to evaluate the damage. However, if you’re concerned about the water damage getting worse by the minute, then inform them of the need for immediate cleanup at the very least and wait for the green light before you proceed. Follow their instructions to the letter to avoid any misunderstanding that could jeopardize your claim.

Call water damage restoration specialists

Once the insurance comes through, call a water damage restoration company right away. While you can deal with flood and water damage the DIY way, it would still be best if you leave it to professionals who have the skills, training, experience, and equipment to take care of the mess that flooding leaves behind.

However, as stated above, water damage could worsen with each minute that passes, and you couldn’t wait for the water damage removal specialists to arrive. So if your insurance company consents to you performing the cleanup personally, then do it as soon as you can.

Whether it’s a waist-deep flood or just a few inches of water, always make your safety a priority. Shut the power, be on the lookout for falling debris, and wear protective gear the entire time.

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Water removal and drying the property

Before doing anything, you need to locate the source of the flooding and stop it from dumping any more water into the property. If the culprit is broken plumbing, then get it fixed immediately. If the flood was due to a heavy storm, you might want to ask for assistance from local authorities.

Once you’ve stopped the flow of water from the source, start removing the water using pumps, buckets, mops, or any item at your disposal that can help you with the task.

Proceed with drying out the property the moment you finish draining all the water. You can use fans and even AC units for this purpose. For closed-off spaces, a dehumidifier might do the trick.

Let the experts do their thing

To be honest, it would be quite tempting for a property owner to not stop at merely removing the water and drying everything out. However, if your insurance covers it and you have already contacted a water damage restoration service, don’t overdo it. You can even skip the DIY water removal altogether if only you weren’t that concerned with worsening water damage as you wait for the specialists to arrive.

You can rest assured that a water damage restoration service can and will do a much better and faster job removing the water, mitigating mold growth, and restoring your property to its former state before the flood.

About The Author

Judy Olsen is the Content Marketing Strategist for ASAP Restoration LLC, a company that specializes in damage restoration, asbestos and mold removal/testing in the Phoenix metro area. When not writing, she spends her time doing yoga and playing bowling with family and friends.