Common Damage That Happens During A Flood
What are the common damages a flood can cause to your home?
In the US alone, the most common and costly water damage is experienced from floods. No home or commercial building is immune to possible wreckage caused by hurricanes or storms. Floods can also come with damaged piping inside the home or building. This kind of disaster comes without warning and can cause physical damage to your property. Floods can also affect you emotionally and financially. This is why a lot of home and building owners make sure that their insurance covers the damages caused by this tragedy.
What are the common damages a flood can cause to your home? Let’s take a look:
1. Property Damage
The most common flood damage can be physically seen in your property. After a flood, you can expect to see broken structures, electrical wirings, and appliances or equipment in your home.
Property damage comes with considerable health and safety risks, such as:
● Water Contamination
Floodwater contains many harmful components such as bacteria, chemical toxins from sewage, and mud. These materials have the opportunity to contaminate your water if these go through your pipes, posing serious health risks. It is important to assume that the water inside your home is not safe for usage yet until a professional checks the whole system. Additionally, toxins can be absorbed by porous materials like bedding, carpets, rugs and mattresses. So, you should never salvage these items after a flood so the chances of you and your family absorbing harmful substances isn’t high.
● Increasing the Risk of Fire
Many people tend to enter the house immediately to salvage items inside the home after a flood. However, it is important to note that your home is filled with electrical appliances and wiring that can cause harm now that they are soaked in water. There is a common misconception that flooding does not cause fire. However, there is still a risk because of several reasons. Damage to pipes can cause leaks to gas lines and tanks; broken electrical appliances and heating devices exposed to water and other combustible materials can be the sources of a blaze.
After the flood, make sure that the main power supply is turned off before you enter the building or house. Most of the time, a qualified electrical team will check the vicinity and give the signal that it is safe to enter. Always assume that wires found on the ground are electrically charged, and never attempt to touch them.
Lastly, do not try to turn on any appliances until the entire area has been dried or a team of experts gives their approval. Many electronic devices require professional cleaning before you can resume using them after being soaked in floodwater.
● Mold Poses Serious Structural Damages And Health Risks
Mold will start to develop as fast as 24 hours after a flood. When an excessive growth occurs, the fungi feed and break down organic materials like wood. They infest walls, carpeting, and insulation, further causing structural damage. Carpets and other furniture must be disposed of when these have been soaked for more than two days as molds are already formed during this time.
If not addressed immediately, molds from a flood can cause several health problems. Those living in your home may experience throat, eye, and skin irritation, as well as other respiratory issues. Before going back to the property, always check the walls and pipes if any molds have developed. Cleaning mold before any home repair or home improvement can take some time, but is necessary to ensure the safety of your family.
2. Emotional Difficulties
Floods can cause the loss of material things and, in the worst cases, even the loss of life. This occurrence can bring emotional hardships to the owners of the property. The emotional difficulties leading to anxiety, depression, trauma, fear, and anger can affect your way of life in many aspects. Emotional difficulties can cause a strain in your family’s relationship and your way of coping with your personal feelings. Anxiety and depression can also cause insomnia, which, in turn, can affect your physical well-being.
3. Economic Loss
Some insurance companies do not cover water damage from flooding. This is the reason why you should make sure that the policy you’re getting is going to help you when the floods strike. Loss of property and damages to the items in a home or building will take a lot of time and money to fix. Repairs make a dent on the victims financially, and starting the life that they lost comes with a hefty price.
How To Mitigate The Damages Caused By Flood
Although the damages of a flood are inevitable, there are still steps you can take to lessen the effects of this type of disaster. Sure, no one can be sure when a flood will happen, but following these simple tips will make a difference for you and your property:
● Find out if your area is a flood risk. Knowing this information can help you assess what you need in case a flood happens, and how you can protect your property from damages.
● Place your appliances in an elevated area or above the expected flood levels as recommended by the experts in your community.
● Install equipment that can shield or protect your generator, sewage system and other large electrical appliances in the home.
● Always keep sandbags in your home. These can stop flood water from entering your home or building’s foundation.
● Learn the flood signals and emergency numbers in your community. Always have an evacuation plan and discuss this among the members in your building or household.
Floodwaters can affect not just your property, but also your life. The emotional and economic stress the disaster provides should prompt you to make the necessary preparations and precautions. This natural disaster comes without warning, so you always have to prepare your home and family. Also, keep in mind that not all insurance policies cover flood damage. Make sure that you have an insurance policy that covers any damage caused by a flood. Flood inside the home poses different health and safety risks. You can minimize the effects of flooding by following these tips and doing ample preparation beforehand.