If you were to ask an insurance professional the difference between water damage and flood damage, they would make a very clear distinction between the two.
However, as flood restoration professionals, we see things a little differently. When a flood happens in your Miami home or business, flood waters can surge through your home, not only causing damage through the impact, but also with the water that remains. Here are some of the key ways that a flood can damage your property, and how you can react.
One particular concern that happens with a flood versus other sources of water damage is what is brought into the home. Coastal flooding or river flooding can bring sediment, chemicals, and anything else the water has come into contact with into your home. This poses a huge contamination hazard, and is part of the reason why flooded areas are considered unsafe well after the waters recede. Something else that can happen is erosion. The loss of soil and rocks is one thing, but heavy floods can also erode foundations, potentially leading to expensive but necessary repairs.
There are also other concerns after the fact, like added moisture bringing mold into your home. Left unchecked, mold can lead to health issues, ranging from basic allergic reactions to serious respiratory issues.
Depending on the nature of the flood, knowing how to react properly could not only make a major difference for protecting your home, but also protecting yourself and your family. This is why it’s important for Miami and South Florida residents to have a flooding prep checklist. Here are some key elements you should incorporate.
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Move items to higher locations
If you have an attic or an upper floor to your home, as soon as you hear there is a potential flood risk, move all valuables to the higher levels. These can include important documents, family albums, or anything else that you want to ensure gets preserved. It may also be a good idea to invest in a safe deposit box for some of these items.
Shut off electricity to affected areas that may flood
One major threat is flood waters coming into contact with electrical appliances or other areas. It’s important to make sure that these are shut down at the fuse box or breaker panel. In some cases, it may be impossible to elevate certain appliances like a washing machine, so wrap them in polyethylene film, if possible. This will keep a lot of the silt from flood water from getting in, making it easier to clean afterward.
Planning for evacuation
In severe flood conditions or hurricanes, it may be essential for you to leave the area to guarantee your safety. Much of the steps that we’ve discussed so far still apply, but it’s also important to make sure that you decide what you are going to bring with you, as well as what the ideal path is to get to where you plan to wait out the flooding/storms.
Invest in flood insurance
Bringing things full circle, flood insurance is generally a separate policy from traditional homeowner’s insurance, which may cover other sources of water damage like a water heater leak or burst pipe. It’s well worth it for anyone living in a flood zone to buy.
Water damage right after a flood can be scary for home and property owners, but the best thing you can do is approach this in a calm and collected manner. By enlisting professionals who know the effects of water damage, it’s far more likely you’ll be able to mitigate it before it gets out of control.
Total Care Restoration is flood restoration services company that believes in doing the most for customers in the Miami area. We’re also IICRC-certified, which means we have the skills and experience to help you take care of all key aspects of flood restoration to make your home safe and liveable once again.
For additional questions about our services, feel free to call our experts today.