As soon as you realize that your home has flooded, you might be ready to grab a few buckets and some loose towels to start your water removal efforts. Unfortunately, getting ahead of yourself could be counterproductive and even dangerous. Here are two things you need to do before you clean up that standing water, and why:
1: Identify Dangers
Before you wade waist-deep into that flood, you should take a minute to think about what you are stepping into. Flooded homes can be full of hidden dangers that might land you in the hospital if you aren't careful. Here are a few of those hazards and how to stay safe:
- Power Outlets: Live power outlets might turn standing water into an electrically live danger zone. To avoid being electrocuted, shut off the power to the area by accessing your home's main panel box. If you aren't sure which breakers control the area that has flooded, err on the side of caution and disable your entire home.
- Trip Hazards: If water has pooled deeply into your home, keep an eye out for tripping hazards, such as steps, unfurled rugs, or power cords. Only step where you know your footing will be secure so that you can avoid falling. Also, try to wear rubber, non-slip shoes as you work.
- Chemical Debris: Flooded garages, basements, or utility closets can present another level of danger—chemicals. If you suspect that the floodwater has been contaminated with gasoline, cleaning chemicals, or oil, don't attempt cleanup on your own.
If you can't identify hidden dangers from your vantage point, don't risk it—call in a team of professional flood contractors, like CDM Cesspool Service, instead. In addition to toting all of the necessary safety equipment and know-how, experts might be able to complete the task a little faster.
2: Call Your Insurance Company
Cleaning up a flood will require more than just a free weekend. You might also find yourself in need of several pieces of pricey equipment—including a shop vacuum, a sump pump, and a carpet blower. Unfortunately, even renting all of this equipment can be expensive—especially if you need the tools for more than a few hours.
To save money, consider calling your insurance company right away instead of attempting the cleanup on your own. You might have to take care of an insurance deductible, but you won't have to deal with the hassle of cleaning the mess up by yourself and paying for equipment that you might not need again.
By recognizing the inherent dangers and complications of home floods, you might be able to stay safe and save a little cash.