If your home has been the victim of flood damage due to a surge or rising river, then generally the best time to assess the damage is shortly after the water has retreated. This way, you do not have to wade through feet of water to access your home, and you can see the entire home structure rather than having part of it still underwater. But what do you look for when assessing flood damage at this time? Here are the key things to focus on.
Was the electrical panel submerged?
If you can easily see your electrical panel, assess whether it looks like it got wet or was submerged in water. If it is damp, starting to rust, or below the level where the water rose, then you need to call the electric company before doing anything else. Water can damage the electrical panel, especially if it was salt water. An electrician will need to disconnect the panel, make sure all of the wiring is safe, and perhaps replace some of your breakers and boxes before connecting your electricity again.
How high did the water rise?
Look at the walls in the space that was flooded. How high up do you see debris or discoloration? Sometimes there will be a distinct line, and other times, you might only see a few pieces of grime high up on the wall where the water rose. Once you know how high the water rose, you'll be better able to assess which items need to be replaced or repaired. Items located above the water line may not need attention if the humidity has dropped and they're not moldy.
Do you see mold?
Mold growth starts quite soon after a flooding incident. You're more likely to see mold if your home is more closed off, is in a hot climate, or has a lot of porous materials on the level that was flooded. Keep in mind that not all mold is black. It can also be white, pale gray, or even brownish. If you see mold, then you will want to leave the space until you have a proper mask, gloves, and goggles to protect yourself from spores.
Floor damage cleanup should almost always be handled by professionals. However, there is nothing wrong with taking a look around and assessing the damage yourself. This way, you can pass the info on to the cleanup team and let them know what to expect.
For more information, contact a local company like All Things Restored LLC.