Home Safety and After the Flood

For much of the country, flooding is the most common source of property loss that nature presents. A flood is a harrowing experience that can lead to power loss, property damage, and in the worst cases, illness and death. When floodwaters recede, they leave behind a litany of lingering dangers for homeowners.

When investigating damage from a flood, homeowners cannot rely completely on their flood insurance to secure their homes. Mold is a prevalent danger. It grows in damp, humid areas and can be created by hard-to-find water damage. Mold in the air can lead to all manner of respiratory problems in adults and children. Mold can be identified through discolored surfaces and a musty smell. You should have your home thoroughly inspected for water damage after a major flood.

Your kitchen is another potential danger zone. If you evacuated your home, you should find out if the power was out for any length of time. Refrigerated food may have gone bad. Canned and dry goods may have had their containers ruined by water. Floods also drive animals and vermin out of hiding and into your home. Clean all surfaces thoroughly and carefully in case animals remain behind.

Floodwater can be toxic, containing chemicals, farm runoff, industrial solvents, and all manner of other effluvia. Discard home furnishings that have been soaked with floodwater. Any standing water that remains should be dealt with carefully and by people wearing protective clothing and gear.

Electrical damage is an especially delicate area when it comes to flood damage. You should hire an electrician to check circuit breakers, fuses, and outlets before you go back to business as usual. Be prepared to replace electrical equipment that has been waterlogged.