Cleaning Up After the Flood
- Help prevent mold by removing wet contents immediately. Saturated carpeting, stuffed furniture, bedding and any other items holding dampness, moisture or water inside the property should be removed – but samples saved.
- Walls, floors, doors, closets and shelves should be thoroughly washed and disinfected to help avoid mold.
- Thoroughly dry out the properties’ interior using a portable dehumidifier (rental costs may be covered by flood policy). Your air conditioner can also be used to start the drying process.
- If the walls are damaged, take photographs of the baseboard, then remove it. Knock small holes at floor level in the drywall between the wall studs to permit moisture trapped behind the drywall to seep out and begin drying.
- Have your furnace and hot water heater checked for damage. While they may seem to work, the floodwater may have damaged the internal elements.
Managing the Repair Process
Most claims are settled within 30 to 60 days of the filing. Repairs however, will probably take longer than this. Be attentive. Ensure you get a quality job at a fair price.
- For major repairs, get a minimum of three estimates. Don’t hesitate to question the contractors on variations in pricing.
- Make sure all estimates provide work details, offer a fixed price and are signed.
- Never proceed with repairs on the basis of a verbal agreement.
- Ask for state licenses and references and take the time to call them. Natural disasters often attract unqualified contractors looking to work for cash.
Rebuilding After a Flood
It’s not always easy, but the time you take to ensure your repairs are completed properly will be well worth it in the long run. While you can’t control when a flood will occur, you can control how well you are prepared. Keeping accurate records, along with photos, receipts and itemized lists will expedite your rebuild if your property should flood in the future.
Remember, your flood policy is not automatically renewed. It’s up to you to pay your renewal bill on time to ensure you don't experience a lapse in coverage. When in doubt, contact your flood insurance agent or Selective at (877) 348-0552.