What to do immediately after a house flood is often the most stressful and upsetting time as you realise the extent of the loss and damage. Will your home ever be the same again? With so many things to think of, it can quickly become overwhelming and hard to know where to start. To help, we’ve prepared this Flooded House Action Plan based on our years of Flood Insurance Claim experience, so you can start to get things back to normal.
- Consider months rather than weeks. Whilst concrete soaks up water relatively slowly, it can take months to completely dry out. As a guide a concrete floor is considered ‘dry’ after a one meter sq. polythene sheet left on the floor overnight does not have condensation under it the next morning. Whilst it’s quite likely you can live in a house before this point, new floors/tiles shouldn’t be laid until this test is passed.
- House insurance company. Take their advice on when it’s safe to enter the building, and how best to for example, switch off power and gas services.
- Always record everything. Take lots of pictures to help your insurance loss adjuster.
- Wet items, recover and remove. Take care when moving furniture and household items. Wear good quality gloves, wellington boots and consider if googles are required. Your insurance company may appoint a ‘strip out’ contractor at this stage if the damage is severe.
- Turn on flood pumps quickly. Fast action here will save months later on. You may need to hire a flood pump to remove large amounts of water.
- Open up for drying and cleaning. Hot air flow is the key. Open windows in good weather. Expose underfloor areas and hire a professional dehumidifier and heater. If your heating has been approved as safe turn it on to 22 C.
- Never ‘try it on’. Insurance companies and loss adjusters prefer to deal with honest people who have done everything reasonable to mitigate their own loss. It is likely to be a very busy time for them, builders, plant hire companies etc. so a properly managed process, with clear communication, will help speed along any claim and get you back into your home sooner.
Our 7 step plan above spells CHAWTON to make it easier to remember.
We have dealt with numerous flood insurance claims and our Chartered surveyors can offer insurance claim advice under RICS regulation and our own ISO9001:2008 certification. For a full list of our Flood, Fire Insurance Claim services please see the following pages or Contact Us.
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