The house is flooded!

Perhaps the worst words for a new homeowner: “I’m afraid there’s been water damage.” Only a few weeks ago you were over the moon at the idea of finally having your own place. You left innocently on holidays and returned to this news. The not-so-pleasant side of homeownership has officially reared its ugly head. After processing the how of this unfortunate incident, your mind immediately goes to the financial implications…how bad is the damage? Does the flooring or drywall need to be replaced? Have any appliances been damaged? What about the furniture? Is there electrical work to be done? Has mould already started growing? All very valid questions, but hold off on huddling in a corner and rocking in despair. We are here to assure you that the world has not ended. Take a deep breath. There is so much useful information available online from checklists, to DIY recommendations and more. Our article, Dampened spirits – Dealing with the scourge of black mould also presents some key considerations when presented with the dreaded issue of black mould. Here are a few tips to ensure your safety in the event of unexpected flooding at home.

Location, location, location.

Preparation is key. Fortunately, this mishap was not major, but it should serve as a reminder of the importance of being prepared. When it comes to any type of flooding, minor or major, your physical safety is paramount. Advanced planning will allow you to act quickly and safely, likely reducing the amount of water damage and exposure to harmful, waterborne bacteria and mould. While in this instance, you were not at home when the flooding began, it is important to know the location of the main valve to the building and lock off valves to water sources in the house like faucets, shower heads, the washing machine and toilet. In the event of a future leak or flooding, the first course of action should be stopping the source of the leak. Now, the truth is that for many of us our natural tendency might be to panic when confronted with an emergency, but when dealing with a leak or flood, time is of the essence. This is no time to be flustered. Our suggestion: designate an area to store protective gear like gloves, waterproof boots and masks. This means that should the need arise, you know exactly where to retrieve these items to ensure your physical safety before all else. Similarly, it would be prudent to secure important documents like passports, birth and/or marriage certificates, insurance policies, title deeds, etc., in a waterproof pouch in another designated area. This

would ensure that, not only, will they be easy to find, but that they will not suffer water damage in the event of an unexpected flood. From our viewpoint, securing these important documents beforehand is a cost-saving measure since, depending on where you live, they can be quite costly to replace. And who doesn’t want to save some money nowadays? So identify specific spots in your home for important documents and protective gear; trust us, you won’t regret it.

Are you insured?

In addition to safeguarding your physical wellbeing and important documents, some consideration should be given to your financial security following unexpected flooding. If you have not already done so, why not discuss insuring your home in the event of flooding or natural disasters with your agent? As mentioned at the onset, the cost to repair your home following a flood can quickly escalate depending on the extent of the damage. If your circumstances allow, it may be financially prudent to ensure that your house insurance includes water damage coverage. Think about it this way, knowing that you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket, in the event of flooding at home, should alleviate some of the stress in the situation, and it should also mean that any repair work required could be done expeditiously. So all things considered, less stress means a happier, healthier you and a lump sum payment from your insurance company means you can return to normal, after a potentially devastating experience, even faster.

Get professional help.

We currently live in a DIY world, where expert knowledge and tutorials are literally available at our fingertips. When it comes to our health and safety however, there is some merit in seeking out professional help. After all, would you allow your favourite YouTuber, TikTok personality or influencer to perform a complicated, surgical procedure on you? Hardly likely. Alright yes, we know, that might be a somewhat farfetched example, however the reality is that when it comes to water damage, improper handling of it can have serious consequences in the long term. Depending on how long the water settled on the floor, your home could now be structurally compromised. Depending on how long it took to dry out the exposed areas, mould could be growing in porous materials which could negatively impact your physical health. So, again, if circumstances allow, why not seek out professional help, at least to assess the extent of the damage?

Depending on the extent of the water damage you may now find yourself in need of temporary storage solutions; we at Van Man York Removals would be more than willing to provide assistance. With years of experience in removal services, a sterling reputation in York and hundreds of satisfied customers, let us help you move beyond the ordeal of a flooded home and get back to comfortable living. Feel free to contact us for your quote today. We’ll be pleased to chat with you.

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