What to do if your house floods
Would you know what to do after a flood in your house? It’s not a situation anyone wants to imagine, so we’ve created this guide for repairing a flood damaged house.
Would you know what to do after a flood in your house? It’s not a situation anyone wants to imagine, so we’ve created this guide to help with repairing a flood damaged house.
What to do if your house floods?
It goes without saying that the most important thing is your safety. Flood water can be dangerous, so if you are in your home when the flooding happens you must leave and get to safety immediately.
What to do if your house floods – first steps
The action you take immediately after a house flood is really important and can affect the cost and speed of the flood damage repair. The first things you should do are:
- Call your home insurance company to let them know what has happened.
- Find alternative accommodation – Contact family and friends, find a hotel or B&B, or speak to your local authority if you have a priority housing need.
- Contact family, close friends, and your employer to let them know the situation.
Depending on our home insurance policy you may have a provision for emergency funds and accommodation, so it is important to contact your insurance provider immediately to find out what your premium covers you for.
What to do if your house floods – returning home
If you have appropriate insurance cover, your insurance provider should help you with the repair effort by providing a loss adjuster to assess the extent of the damage. This could take between 24hrs and three days for this to be arranged.
- You must not return home until it is safe to do so.
- Don’t walk through any floodwater, wear protective clothing and don’t go alone.
- Don’t turn on mains services – there may need to be an inspection.
- Check your property for structural damage
Depending on the extent of the flooding, your insurer may need to help you appoint an RICS surveyor to assess any structural damage. It is important that any structural issues are fixed before the clean-up operation can begin. When repairing a flood-damaged house it’s important to repair things in the right order to prevent long term structural issues and damp.
What to do if your house flooded and you have no flood insurance
If you have no flood insurance then it will be up to you to cover the costs of the flood damage repair and organising the clean up. You should:
- Keep records of all damage to the property and your possessions.
- Contact your borough, district or local council as they may be able to offer support.
- Check for local charities or voluntary groups, especially if you are not the only one affected by flood damage.
Flooded house clean up – repairing a flood damaged house
If you are working with a loss adjuster, keep in close contact with them so that your flooded house clean up can begin as quickly as possible. Drying your house after a flood is one of the most important jobs.
Drying a house after a flood can take weeks or months and it must be done thoroughly to avoid damp and associated health problems. For more information on water removal, read our water removal cost guide.
Once silt and debris have been removed, the drying out can begin. Bricks and concrete take up water slowly but take a long time to dry out if left in standing water. It takes approximately one month of drying out time per inch of standing water.
To help with the drying out generators, pumps and driers will be required. Your insurance company may help to arrange the hire of these but if your insurance does not cover this you will need to source these. A flooded house clean up is a huge job, so it may be worth investigating the help of expert emergency flood cleaners.
If the flood damage is severe, you may also need to contact clearance specialists or hire a skip. If you are working with your insurance company, don’t get rid of anything until the loss adjuster has been and keep photographic evidence and notes on anything that has been damaged.
Flood damage repair
Once your property is dry, the flood damage repair can begin. If you have insurance, a loss adjuster will usually select the appropriate tradespeople to help. If you want to select your own you can, but you will need to ensure they are competent. Some of our trade member’s work comes with a guarantee, so when you search our site, look for the guarantee badge.
You will probably require the services of a plumber, electrician and a builder to help reinstate working electrics and plumbing or repair any structural damage. Again if working with a loss adjuster, they may suggest, or even require that you make changes to prevent future flood damage such as replacing carpet for water resistant flooring, or raising electrical sockets.
You may also require kitchen or bathroom fitters to replace damaged cabinets or appliances. Once these bigger jobs have been completed, then comes re-decoration where you may need the help of plasterers and painters and decorators.
Nobody wants to be in the position of drying a house after a flood or repairing a flood damaged house, so for preventative tips, take a look at our flood prevention cost guide.