In South Florida, indoor flooding is a real possibility that you’d assume in a first-world country. During a hurricane or particularly nasty storm, water levels can rise with surprising alacrity, spilling into your home. Outside of hurricane season, the most common culprit of indoor flooding is burst pipes or utilities like washers, fridges, and water heaters.
Whatever the cause, here’s how to deal with a flooded basement or room.
Stop the Flooding
If at all possible, your first act should be to stop the source of the water. For a damaged utility it’s best to turn off water either through the local fixture valve or to the entire house, before going in and trying to repair whatever burst or broken. Most houses have their main shut-off valve either outside, or in the garage or utility room.
Turn Off the Power
Just like with the water, you should immediately turn off all power to your house. Even the merest touch of a frayed wire against the water flooding your house can turn the whole body of water alive with electricity and set you up for a nasty and potentially lethal shock on contact.
The circuit breaker to the house should be in your garage. Take care that in navigating to it, you don’t touch the water.
Get the Water Out
While most of us don’t have a water pump ready and at our disposal, a bucket should do for most flooded areas. Once the majority of water is below an inch, towels and mops can deal with the rest of it. Take care when draining the area, as if it comes from outside, the water can be contaminated with insecticides or otherwise poisonous.
Utilities and electronics are especially vulnerable to water damage, so they should be the first objects vacated from the flooded area. Small electronics should be placed in an airtight container or Tupperware with at least a half-cup of rice. The rice will absorb the moisture and leave your electronics (hopefully) functioning as before.
Don’t plug utilities and electronics back in for at least a day, or at least until they have thoroughly dried.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Even once you finish drying every surface of the affected room, the danger isn’t passed. Over the next days and weeks, you need to be vigilant about the growth of mold. Mold when it does grow will cause not only structural weakening but also adverse health effects, in particular for those with previous breathing conditions.
Don’t be caught unawares. At the first sign of mold, track it down and scrub it away.
Is your flooding more than you can handle? Here at IRS-Repair, we specialize in dealing with property restoration and repair. Contact us today at (954) 725-2895 and discover how we can get your house back into shape in no time at all.