Palm Beach County gets about 60 inches of rain a year. In comparison, most states see around 40 inches of rain annually.
All that water, plus the flat landscape, leads to frequent flooding in the county.
How much does it cost to clean up the water damage after a flood? One inch of floodwater in your home can cost up to $27,000 in repairs.
Natural flooding isn’t the only threat to your home. Burst pipes and backed up sewers can cost as much if not more to clean up.
First-time flood victims don’t know what to expect after the disaster. Before you’re hit by a flood, use this guide to make a post-flood plan for your family.
Get the Water Out As Fast As Possible
Standing water soaks into any porous surface available. The longer it is allowed to sit, the more damage it does to your floors, walls, and foundation.
Different Kinds of Flood Water
When faced with a flooded house, the first step is to identify the type of water. These include:
- Clean water – Water from broken supply lines and overflowing tubs/sinks with no contaminants
- Graywater – Water from broken appliances, toilets, and backed up sump pumps that contain contaminants
- Blackwater – Water from natural floods that contains sewage, saltwater, and other harmful contaminants
Black and gray water flooding bring infectious diseases into your home. Bacteria like salmonella and E. coli in flood water attack your digestive system. These floodwaters also contain tetanus, typhoid, and hepatitis A.
Tools To Help Remove Flood Water
The biggest part of surviving after a flood is preparing beforehand. If you live in a flood-prone area, there are some tools you need to keep on-hand.
Going to a store after major natural flooding will be difficult, if not impossible. Keep these items in an easy to reach location to make clean-up easier:
- Submersible pump
- Box fans
- Heavy-duty garbage bags
- N95 mask
- Rubber boots
- Floor squeegee
These items will get you started on the road to recovery after flood water damage.
Keep in mind, if the damage is too bad, you will need to call in a water damage company to help. They have all the tools necessary to get your home back in shape.
Time to Dry Out Your Home
Before you reenter your home after a natural flood, check that it’s safe.
Don’t go in if there’s standing water and the electricity is still on. Flood water contains particles that make it a great conductor of electricity. If you step into the water, it will electrocute you.
If flood water sat on your flooring for a while, it has to be inspected before you enter the home. You don’t want to fall through the floor and hurt yourself. Bacteria from floodwaters on the wood will make you sick.
Once it’s safe to go inside, the first step is to pump out any deep standing water.
A floor squeegee will take care of any shallow puddles on your floor. Use it to push the water to the front or back door.
If you are able, turn on the air conditioner. These units are designed to minimize humidity inside your home.
Unchecked, the high humidity will encourage mold to grow in your home. Mold exposure causes severe allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
A stand-alone dehumidifier will work if you can’t use the air conditioner. When running a dehumidifier off a generator, keep the generator outside. The fumes from the generator are dangerous.
Place a box fan in every room that flooded. Air circulation speeds up the drying process.
Assessing the Water Damage to Your Home
Contact your home insurance company as soon as possible. They may have resources that can help you rebuild after a flood.
When all the floodwater is gone, it’s time to document the damage. Take pictures of everything that was destroyed during the flood. This way if your insurance does cover flooding, they have visual proof.
Now it’s time to put on your mask and gloves and get to work.
Start in the room furthest from the door. Sort through your belongings to find what is salvageable.
If you’re dealing with graywater or black water flooding, you won’t be able to save a lot of your stuff. Personal items that absorb floodwater will have bacteria and eventually develop mold.
Anything in your home that touched the flood water needs to be disinfected. If you can’t disinfect it, don’t keep it. When dealing with bacteria it is better to be safe than sorry.
Porous household items you may need to throw away include:
- Wood furniture
- Upholstered furniture
Your appliances aren’t safe, either. A professional needs to come in to check each one for damage and contamination.
How to Safely Clean Water Damage in Home
The safest way to clean water damage after a natural flood is to hire a professional.
Blackwater damage, in particular, should be handled by someone with extensive training. They know how to prevent spreading viruses and bacteria from floodwater.
Professional water damage restorers know where to check for lingering dampness. They will make sure your home is completely dry.
During the clean-up process, they will have to do more damage to your home to fix it. Flood-soaked flooring, drywall, and insulation encourage mold growth if not removed in time.
Don’t Let Water Damage Ruin Your Home
It is impossible to predict when your home will suffer water damage. The best you can do is have a solid plan in place for clean-up afterward.
For those who live in Palm Beach County, Get Dry Inc. is at your service. We offer year-round 24/7 emergency services.
Our team at Get Dry Inc. will work with you to make your home good as new. We also work with your insurance company to make sure they pay for the repairs.
Do you need help dealing with water damage? Our technicians are ready to save your home from floodwater damage. Contact us at any time, day or night.