Sunday, July 14, 2013

What to do if your basement floods: Part III

Part I: What to do before your basement floods can be found here and Part II: What to do as your basement floods can be found here

Once the storm is over and hopefully your power is back on, here are some things you can do. 

1. As soon as possible, begin to dry things out. The restoration crew that cleaned up our basement said carpet is salvageable if it gets dried out within 72 hours (the carpet pad is a lost cause but carpet can be dried). We didn't even get power back that quickly, so ours was a goner. At any rate, removing excess water and setting up fans will go a long way towards preventing mold. 

2. If you think the damage is enough to make it worth filing a claim, notify your insurance company and follow their instructions. Our insurance company was fantastic to work with from start to finish. They did say that it was our responsibility to try to mitigate the damage as much as possible, so I made sure to ask specifically what steps those might be and we took them as soon as possible. Document all phone calls with date, time, names, and details of conversations. Keep all receipts.

3. Take pictures. The insurance adjustor will probably take some, but you should have your own. Keep a sample of the carpet as well for proof of value if you have to rip it out. 

4. Wash your hands a lot and don't track the water from the basement through the rest of your house. This is especially critical if you're not sure what's floating around in the water....

5. Take care to prevent mold. The restoration company that cleared things out sprayed some antimicrobial spray which I was very happy about. We kept fans going down there for several days to get things nice and dry, and in a few weeks we'll get around to replacing the drywall and carpet.

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