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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

After a Storm

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

What should you do after a storm floods your home? After a significant weather event, you may find yourself dealing with conflicting impulses. On one hand, you'll be eager to start the cleanup process right away. On the other hand, you'll probably feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. While it’s best to have a restoration professional working through the process on your behalf, there are certain steps you can begin while you wait for help to arrive.

Safety First

The first and most important thing to know is how to re-enter a building safely. Never begin damage mitigation until a building has been cleared as safe. 

  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet yourself or standing in water.
  • Don’t walk through floodwaters. Water can be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage or possibly even be electrically charged. (See our earlier blog post on water contamination levels.)
  • Turn off electricity to any rooms that are affected by flooding.
  • Don’t operate any electrical equipment while standing in wet or damp locations.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
  • Wear protective clothing such as boots, long pants, and gloves when entering your home or dealing with flooded areas. I realize this is going to be uncomfortable in Austin since storm season is generally in the late summer heat, but it’s not worth the risk of injury to wear shorts in a flood clean-up.

Next Steps

Once you get into your building, notify your insurance agent. Your policy guidelines will influence your next steps and your agent should be able to recommend a trusted water restoration team in your area. To make sure that your agent has an accurate assessment of the damage, take photos or video to record the condition of your building and possessions. Don’t move any objects or collections without documenting their condition.

At SERVPRO of North Central Austin, we’re ready to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but there are still some steps you can take the moment you get back home while you’re waiting for our team to arrive.

The faster you act, the more effective the restoration process will be and the better your chances are of saving water damaged possessions.

  • Remove any paintings, art objects, documents and other sensitive materials to a safe, dry place.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Raise wooden furniture out of standing waters and place on blocks if possible.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. 
  • Move large furniture away from walls for better air circulation.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.

Tips for Carpet Care

If the affected room is carpeted, there are a few things you can do to prevent further damage to your carpet that might not be obvious if you’ve never been through a flood before.

  • Place aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items from wet carpets.
  • Do not leave colored area rugs on wet carpets (or white rugs on wet colored carpets). Color transfer from one can stain the other.

Let Us Help You

Most people only ever have to recover from a flooded home once in their lifetime. When it does happen, it’s good to have a partner who has been through this before. At SERVPRO of North Central Austin, we have years of experience and the backing of the SERVPRO system to draw on and help make your home "Like it never even happened."

If you are dealing with flood damage, call us for help at (512) 579-0189 or request help online today.

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