If you've just experienced a flood of water or sewage pouring into your home, your first reaction is how to stop it from continuing. Locating your main water shut off valve should help stop the incoming flow of water and prevent further water damage. This is generally near your water pump if you have well water or near your water meter inside of your home. Turning the knob clockwise should stop the water from coming in any further. Once your water is shut off, here are a few things to consider going forward.
Step 1: Call Your Plumber
Unless you're very knowledgeable in home repairs, it's best to call a plumber for further assistance. A plumber will come out to your home and locate where the leak is coming from. He will then evaluate the issue further to find the root cause. Common causes of water pipe leaks are:
- Clogged water or sewer drain
- Root system invading into your drain system
- Backed up or overflowing septic tank
- Cracks caused from drastic temperature changes or frozen pipes
A plumbing pro will be able to decipher multiple plumbing problems and start approaching the main underlying issue right away.
Step 2: Contact Your Insurance Agency
It's important to contact your insurance agency as soon as you realize there's major flood damage to your home. Each homeowner's insurance policy is different. Depending on the details in your policy, some or all of the repairs may or may not be covered. If your insurance agency doesn't pay for your plumbing repairs or costs, they may cover the cost of replacing items that were damaged such as carpet or electronics.
Step 3: Take Photos Of The Damage
Before you clean and clear away the affected debris, whether you contact your insurance company or not, you should still take photos of the damage that has occurred. This is a great way to document the damage to keep track of it for future reference. Should you have another plumbing issue months or years down the road, this will allow you to easily look back at what items were original and what was replaced or repaired.
Step 4: Hire Professional Cleaners
While you'll likely spend a lot of time cleaning up the affected area, there can still be places that are not cleaned or disinfected properly. Hiring a professional cleaning crew that specializes in sanitation and odor elimination is recommended. For instance, consider a company like Atlantic Carpet Care. They may also use tools such as air purifiers and high powered fans to dry up damp spaces to eliminate and discourage mold and mildew growth.
A flood can easily destroy a home. Act fast by cleaning well below the surface to help save as much of your home as possible.