Walking downstairs into your basement after a long day at work only to see, water flooding that new carpet you had just installed last week, or that ceiling in your living room has water pouring out of the recessed lights. What do you do?
Here are some steps to take immediately.
- Call your local Certified Water Damage Restoration Contractor
- Grab a flashlight (even during the day if you have had a basement flood).
- Shut off the electricity at the breakers to those areas affected.
- Before you walk into the water damaged area, look for any potential hazards. Is the ceiling about to collapse, is the floor slippery, is that chandelier about to fall, etc?…… Be Careful !!!!!!!
- Try to determine what has caused the leak. If it is a leaking pipe, shut the water off to the whole house. This shut off is usually located in the basement or right next to where the water pipe enters your home.
- If you determine the flood in your basement is sewerage, leave the basement immediately and wait for the professionals to arrive. This type of flood damage is hazardous to you and your family’s health. If you have young children or someone who is immune-compromised, it would be wise to leave your home and not return until the Restoration Contractors have finished decontaminating the affected area.
- If the water is not deep, put aluminum foil or plastic wrap under furniture legs. This will protect your furniture as well as protecting the carpet from getting stained from the furniture. Sometimes the stain will transfer from the furniture to the carpet, which if it happens, can permanently damage the carpeting.
- Turn the temperature down below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Move anything which might break in the water-damaged areas before the Restoration Contractors arrive. By doing this now there is less chance for them to break that family heirloom.
- Remove everything small and light from the floor, for example, shoes, books, magazines, boxes, etc. Clean out everything stored in your closets, so when the Restoration Contractors are working, they will have easy access to those areas.
- Any furniture which is light, try to move them to a dry area of the house.
- Tie up any drapery so they are not sitting in the water.
Finally do not throw out anything that’s water damaged until you have spoken with your insurance company. If the flood is caused by a leaking pipe and you have homeowners insurance or renters insurance you are probably covered for this type of loss. But to be safe, you should call your insurance agent first to see if you are covered by insurance. If you are covered, wait until the insurance adjuster comes and inspects your home before you throw anything out.