You heard a popping sound during the night. You weren't sure what it was, so you went back to sleep. This morning you discover that the sound was caused by a water pipe bursting in your home. Now your basement is under water. You've never had to deal with a flood before so you're not quite sure what to do. Here's a quick list that will help you sort through the process of water clean-up.
Turn Off the Water and Power
When you have standing water in your home, the first thing you should do is turn off the water and electricity. This is particularly important if the water has come to the level of your electrical outlets. If the water has come in contact with outlets, it could be electrically charged – which means you risk electrocution if you enter the water.
Call Your Insurance
Once you have the power turned off, you should contact your insurance company. Depending on your policy coverage, you may be protected against this type of occurrence. If you are, they'll arrange to have a water damage restoration contractor come out to your home. They'll be able to take care of the clean-up for you. However, there are still some things that you'll need to do to ensure that everything goes smoothly for the claim.
Document the Damage
Now that you have the electricity turned off and you've called the insurance company, there are a couple of things you'll need to do to document the damage. This is important, especially if it's going to be a few days before the insurance adjuster can make it out to your home.
Mark the Water Level
The first thing you should do is mark the water level. Use a permanent marker to place a mark on the wall at water level. This will allow you to show the insurance company how much water you encountered, even if the level has receded by the time they arrive.
Photograph the Damage
Once you've marked the water level, you should photograph the damage. Be sure to take pictures of every item that has come in contact with the flood, including clothing, furnishings, and other miscellaneous items. Not only will this help show the extent of the damage, it will also help the insurance company assess the monetary damages you incurred.
You weren't expecting to wake up to a flood. Now that you have, you need to act quickly. The tips provided above will help you recover from the damage.