Flood Restoration Tips: What to Do After a Storm

For those who live in an area that could be affected by a storm, there is a risk of water damage to the home, especially if it is in a flood zone. Flood restoration can be overwhelming. The following is a guide to help homeowners through the process of cleaning up after a storm.

Make an Insurance Claim

One of the first things to do after safely returning home is to make a claim with the insurance company. They will want a general description of the damage to the property. The insurance company, depending on the level of destruction, should get back in touch within a few days.

Have an Insurance Adjuster Look at the Damage

After making a claim, make sure an adjuster visits the property to evaluate the issues. They will determine if the problems were caused by wind or water. This decision will greatly affect what the agency will cover. For example, if a homeowner does not have flood insurance as part of their policy and the problems were due to water invading the home, you may have to fight for your flood restoration damages to be covered. This is because the insurance company may try to say that the water in the home was a result of flooding rather than flood water.

Document All Damage

Before making any repairs, be sure to document all of the destruction that was done to the property. This includes the destruction of furniture, flooring, walls, ceilings, and so on. Also, if the water rose significantly, be sure to take note so things like the electrical system can be checked as well. Take photographs and video of any structural destruction as well as any contents that were affected.

Take Measures to Prevent Further Damage

Water damage can continue to cause problems as it sits. After making an insurance claim, it is important to make temporary repairs to the home to prevent additional issues. If the roof is compromised, cover the area with a tarp or some type of strong covering. Broken windows and doors should be covered with plywood. If it is too dangerous to make these temporary repairs, hire a service. Be sure to save the receipts for this work as to recoup the costs.

Keep the doors and undamaged windows open as often as possible to ventilate the air and allow the house to dry out. This is crucial in preventing mold growth.

Schedule Permanent Repairs

Once everything has been evaluated, the next step is to begin scheduling the repair work. If the area was heavily affected by a storm, it might be necessary to wait. Also, make sure to work with a reputable contractor. After a crisis like a storm, disingenuous contractors show up and try to take advantage of vulnerable storm victims. This often results in shoddy work that will need to be replaced.

Storm and flood restoration can be significant and overwhelming. Taking everything step-by-step will help ease the process. Be sure to keep in constant contact with the insurer and don’t make any permanent repairs until all evaluations have been completed.

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Why Flood Insurance Is Important Even If You Don’t Live in a Flood Prone Area

According to the US disaster list, a flood is one of the most dangerous and devastating natural disasters in the country, which is why, it is highly recommended for the property owners to have flood insurance policies. Many property owners find out too late, and run the risk of financial ruin once a flood has damaged the property.

Importance of Flood Insurance

If you are living in a flood prone area then you already understand the importance of having a flood policy, and you probably have coverage. However, people living in areas which are considered safe for floods, should also consider getting coverage.

According to the Climate Change Report by US Climate Communication Science and Outreach, a minor change in global temperature can lead to drastic changes in global climate. The report highlights that extreme weather changes may lead to severe droughts, rainfall, storms, and floods in different cities. As a result, heavy rains and floods would be more frequent and intense.

Considering the report, even if an area is marked as flood-safe, it is a smart decision to sign up for flood insurance. Most private insurance providers offer conditional flood safety as well. For example, if a water pipeline bursts due to fire, your flood insurance will cover the costs of property damage and replacement.

Home & Property Insurance Vs Flood Insurance

Many people misunderstand that a specific flood policy a separate policy is needed to cover flood over and above standard homeowners and commercial property ones. Home & commercial property insurance provides coverage for structural failure, fire, damages to the building, water leaks, and the like. However, flood insurance provides coverage against damages caused due rising water.

Why Should You Choose Private Insurance?

The national insurance program offers a number of benefits, which is ideal if you are just opting for basic insurance coverage. However, if you want an insurance package which is customized according to your needs, then choosing private insurance might be a better idea. The benefits of private insurance include:

• Coverage of the building (including the foundation)
• Coverage of HVAC, plumbing systems, and electrical systems
• Coverage of furniture, clothing, and kitchen gadgets like microwaves and dishwashers
• Possessions covers including temporarily installed carpets, portable air conditioners, removable microwaves, refrigerators, and more
• Coverage of related expenses including temporary housing

Flood insurance is extreme important in light of changing weather conditions and the financial risks associated with not having flood insurance. Talk with your agent or border to determine what coverage you need.

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Things To Do Before Hurricane Season Begins – How To Get Prepared For Flood Damage

Many people each year lose everything due to flood damage. It only takes a couple inches of water to cause thousands of dollars in damage. Flooding can happen anywhere, whether you live in a flood plain or not. Flooding can include heavy rains, storms or inadequate drain systems.

We encourage you to be proactive and find out how much flood insurance is in your area. Did you know a flood policy could be as low as $300 a year?

After getting flood insurance, there are several things you can do to minimize losses in your home and ensure your family’s safety.

1. Safeguard Your Possessions

Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should have:

A copy of your insurance policies with your agents contact information. A household inventory: For insurance purposes, be sure to keep a written and visual record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in basements, attics or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims. Copies of all other critical documents, including finance records or receipts of major purchases.

2. Prepare Your House

First make sure your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement. Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.

Anchor any fuel tanks. Raise your electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.

Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation. Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.

3. Develop A Family Emergency Plan

Create a safety kit with drinking water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight. Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and teach your children how to dial 911. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Know safe routes from home, work, and school that are on higher ground.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact.

Have a plan to protect your pets.

Furthermore, flood insurance is typically not included through homeowner’s insurance so make sure you are protected this year. The Weather Channel predicts this Hurricane season will be messy.

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