ServiceMaster by Rice Provides Flood Tips to Homeowners in Iowa

If a serious flood or water loss happens at your home, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to take care of first. Do you turn off the power? Who do you call? What do you try and save first? How do you go about drying out your home? All of these are valid questions, especially when no one can get to your house for a few days to help mitigate the flood damage. Sometimes the volume of flood and water damage repair jobs is too high for our teams to handle and we can’t get to you for at least 24 hours. What can you do then? Rather than panicking, here are a few things you can do before ServiceMaster by Rice shows up to help you repair the flooding.

How to handle a flood in your home before the professionals get there

1. Call ServiceMaster by Rice.

This needs to be your first move after a flood. Sure, you can take care of many different problems before we get to your home, but our professional, IICRC certified team members are experts at mold and water mitigation and applied structural drying. Even if your home looks like it’s dried out, chances are there are instances of mold and water damage that have escaped your best efforts. Take care of what you can while you wait for us to get there and we can take care of the rest.

2. Call your insurance agent.

If you have insurance, whether it is flood or home insurance, some of the flood damage might be covered by your insurance policy. If you are not completely sure what is covered in your insurance, call your agent right away to see what steps you need to take and what you need to do to file a claim. This might involve an inspection or photo evidence of the damage.

3. Make sure your sump pump is working.

If there has been a power outage at your home or if your sump pump stopped working and caused the flooding in your basement, be sure to check and see if it’s working again before you start all your hard work at removing the water. If you aren’t sure what to do to fix it, call a plumber to get it taken care of so you don’t waste any time, effort or money.

4. Try and mitigate the water damage yourself.

Depending on the severity of the flooding, you might be able to take care of some of the water damage on your own before a professional can come finish the job. If the flooding is major but not severe, you can take some steps toward mitigating and cleaning up the flood damage so the water damage is not as serious in the long run.

5. Extract as much water as possible.

If the flooding isn’t severe, you should be able to remove some of the standing water on your own in the even that ServiceMaster cannot get there immediately for flood cleanup. Whether you use buckets or a shop vac, extracting water is essential to truly cleaning up the flood damage. Make sure you drain it in a place where it won’t contribute to more flooding in your home. Once most of the standing water is out of the area, use towels to absorb as much of the moisture as you can.

6. Tear up carpet pads.

Moderate to severe flood damage usually requires replacing your carpet. If you want to get a jump on your flood damage cleanup before ServiceMaster can get to your home, we recommend removing your carpets and carpet pads to make sure no moisture gets trapped underneath them. If left too long, this can lead to mold damage and future problems.

7. Buy a rug doctor.

Carpet cleaning is an essential part of flood cleanup, regardless of the severity of the flood. If you’re looking at mild flooding in your home, investing in a rug doctor is not a bad idea to take care of major stains and excess moisture before ServiceMaster by Rice comes in to handle mold mitigation and any remaining flood cleanup steps.

8. Set your thermostat to 71-74 degrees.

By setting your thermostat to a range of 71-74 degrees you can ensure your home is at an optimum temperature for avoiding mold growth. Mold needs heat and moisture to flourish, so by keeping your home cool you can slow the mold growing process until ServiceMaster’s certified applied structural drying experts can take care of the issue.

9. Set up dehumidifiers and fans.

After your initial water extraction is complete, setting up dehumidifiers and fans will help keep air moving through your home and aid in the flood cleanup process. Regardless of if you need professional water damage repair, dehumidifiers and air movement will help lessen the long term damage to your home and ensures that mold doesn’t start growing after a flood.

10. Keep windows closed and climate controlled.

In order to get a handle on the flooding problem in your home, it is important to keep your home’s climate controlled and constant during the flood cleanup process. Keep windows closed and maintain a constant temperature between 71 and 74 degrees until the professionals can get to your home for water mitigation.

11. Grab any items you want to salvage and set them apart.

If you want to salvage any of your possessions from a house flood, be sure to get them out of the water as quickly as possible. This is easy if you know the flooding is happening and more difficult if the flood happens to be a surprise. Set furniture in a different, dry room or make sure it is set up out of the water. Remove clothing and other possessions and keep them in a dry place until the flood cleanup is complete. If your furniture, clothing or area rugs are submerged in flood water, be sure to wash them in hot water to disinfect them or have a professional take care of the upholstery and area rug cleaning.