Flooding can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, especially if it’s related to a natural disaster or other type of extreme weather. It’s important to know some basic safety procedures as well as know how to differentiate floodwaters depending on their source. Always remember that personal safety comes first and that cleaning up floodwater should always be left to a professional water damage mitigation company.
Personal and Family Safety Come First
Keep in mind the following safety precautions when dealing with a flooded room, basement or other part of a building:
- Electricity and water DO NOT mix. Always ensure the power is turned off, or let a professional do it if you are not comfortable taking the risk.
- Have a qualified person check any building or room before entering. Buildings that have withstood rushing floodwaters or have been submerged may have suffered structural damage and can be dangerous.
- Beware of sagging ceilings, warped walls, or other signs that the structural integrity of the property has been compromised.
- Know how the different sources have floodwater can potentially affect your health as floodwater can contain harmful bacteria that can make you very ill.
Find the Source
If the floodwater doesn’t have anything to do with a storm or other natural disaster, then determine where the water is coming from. If it’s a burst pipe, you’ll need to call a plumber right away. If an overflowing or clogged storm drain is causing you problems, you may need to get in contact with the city. A broken sump pump will need to be replaced immediately in order to prevent further damage. Once you’ve located the source, consider the following types of floodwater and how harmful they could be to your health:
- White Water – Comes from an overflowing sink, broken water supply line or broken faucet. This type of water does not have very many contaminants and does the least amount of damage.
- Grey Water – Comes from bathtubs, showers, dishwashers and washing machines. This type of water does contain some contaminants including soap, bleach, grease or food particles. It could be considered moderately hazardous.
- Black Water – Comes from sewage backups, overflowing toilets or extreme weather. Any type of natural disaster floodwater is considered black water. This type of water is the most dangerous and potentially harmful to your health. It can contain hazardous chemicals, disease causing organisms and animal or human waste. This kind of floodwater can make you extremely ill so never attempt to clean up this type of flooding yourself.
Record All Damages and Call Your Insurance Company
Once it’s safe to return to your home or facility, do a full assessment of the damages of your property from the flood. Examine the foundation, overhands and power lines. Check the ceiling and floors for sagging or warped wood. You will need to report all this information to an insurance agent. Documentation is extremely important when it comes to flooding damage. Take as many photos as possible so that you can show your insurance adjuster. This will help them to assess your case.
Plan Your Recovery
After the insurance company has assessed your damages, it’s now time to call in the water damage cleaning specialists to begin the restoration process. ServiceMaster Elite Cleaning Services can help you recover from extensive flood damage with drying and mitigation services. We have emergency water damage technicians on call 24/7 to help you when you need it most. Our experts know the safest way to clean up hazardous floodwater.
Remember, cleaning up floodwater is a job for a professional. Without the proper drying and cleanup procedures, you’re risking major structural damages to your property. In addition to the damages accrued by water, floods create an ideal environment for mold to grow. When moisture lingers on your furniture or in your walls, your risk for developing a mold problem is high. ServiceMaster Elite Cleaning Services will ensure your home or facility is properly dried. At-home dehumidifiers or fans aren’t strong enough to be effective. Call today at (800) 932 – 9940 so we can get started!