Flooding and Water Damage
Flooding is both a common weather and household hazard that can happen at any time. Whether a flash flood from heavy rainfall or a flooded kitchen or basement from a broken pipe, floods can be dangerous and even potentially life-threatening, and can also cause extensive property damage. However, there are certain things you can do to prepare for floods in order to minimize the effects in both situations (flash flooding or household water losses).
Flash flooding can occur with little to no warning, within minutes to hours of a heavy rainfall, especially in low-lying areas that are in close proximity to small bodies of water such as rivers or streams. Homeowners insurance policies generally do not cover this type of flooding, so additional flood insurance should be purchased in areas that are prone to flash floods (https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance). Evacuation plans should also be made so that all family members know what to do and where to go in the event of a flood.
Household water losses can lead to flooding inside the home as well. This can be caused by many different things, such as a broken pipe, overflowed toilet, roof leak, water heater leak, drain backup or even sump pump failure. Standard homeowners insurance policies generally cover water damages from “sudden and accidental” causes, but special coverage usually must be purchased for sump and water backup losses (https://www.forbes.com/advisor/homeowners-insurance/water-damage/). You can check with your insurance agent to verify what type of coverages you have on your homeowners policy.
Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover damages to your belongings as well. It is always a good idea to take photos of major household appliances and other valuables in case they ever need to be included in an insurance claim. Important documents and valuables should always be kept in waterproof containers on higher levels or shelves.
Some other preventative measures include clearing out drains, periodically checking water valves, and using a sump pump that has a backup battery in case of a power outage (https://www.ready.gov/floods).
The most important consideration to be taken during any flood situation is safety. Stop the source of the water intrusion if at all possible. Do not touch any electrical equipment that is wet or in standing water. Turning off the electricity is the best way to prevent electric shock if safe to do so. Stay out of any areas with sagging ceilings. Then contact us at SERVPRO of Carleton/Maybee to begin the water mitigation process at (734) 299-7006. We are here to help!