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Has Your Home Been Damaged By Flooding?

As many Calgarians remember, floods can cause extensive damage. When large portions of Alberta, including Calgary, were flooded in 2013, many people were caught unaware. Though as a home or business owner your first concern will be removing the water from your property there are several other important things that need to be done as well.

  1. Turn off the electricity
    If you have enough warning before the flood waters hit, you should turn off the gas and electricity at your home or business. However, if you were unable to do this before the flood occurred you should still try and turn off the gas and electricity if it is safe to do so. Stand in a dry spot, or on a dry wooden box or plastic crate and use a wooden or stick or plastic pipe to pull the fuse box handle off. Next, pull out the main fuses, unscrew each circuit fuse and use the stick to switch off the main breaker switch and each circuit breaker. If you cannot reach the fuse box without stepping in water then do not attempt to turn off the electricity. Move away from the fuse box and any surrounding water and call your electrician or power company. If the power company has turned off power in your area make sure that your house’s power is disconnected so that the electricity won’t come back on without warning.

  2. Turn off the gas
    If you smell gas in your home or business leave immediately and leave the door open. If the gas meter is outside, you can turn off the gas by using pliers or a wrench and turning the valve so that it is perpendicular to the pipe. If you are unsure how to turn off your gas safely call a professional for help.

  3. Document the damage
    Once it is safe to return to your house the first thing you should do is begin taking photos to document the damage. Your insurance company will likely require this documentation before they process your claim. The same is true for disaster relief claims and income tax deductions.

  4. Discard any spoiled or contaminated food
    Once you can safely return to your home or business you should remove any food that has spoiled or has been contaminated. Frozen food that has thawed should be cooked and eaten immediately if it is still good, and should be discarded if you know or suspect it is unsafe to eat. Any food that is moldy, or looks or smells off should be discarded. Discard food as soon as possible so you can avoid having it spoil, creating a bigger health hazard.

  5. Remove soft items and dry them thoroughly
    Remove anything that is made of fabric, drywall or other soft materials from your home or business as soon as possible. Drywall, furniture, rugs and other soft items are highly susceptible to mold growth. Mold, aside from being unsightly, can cause a variety of health problems if it is left to flourish. By drying out soft items and ripping out damaged drywall you can reduce the likelihood of your home or business becoming infested with mold. Though many items may be able to be cleaned and dried some items, such as nailed down carpet and damaged drywall, will likely be unsalvageable.

  6. Protect yourself
    Items such as dishes and furniture will need to be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water. Any items that are used for food preparation should be disinfected before they are used. While you are cleaning up the damage be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water often, and avoid touching your face or mouth with dirty hands. You should also speak to your doctor about getting a tetanus shot booster so that you are protected if you accidentally cut yourself on any metal objects. If you cannot stay in your home because of the damage turn to family and friends, or an emergency shelter, for assistance. Make sure you and your family get adequate rest and nutrition.

  7. Call in the professionals
    After a flood it is integral that your home or business be thoroughly cleaned and assessed. By calling in a professional restoration company you can rest assured that your property is in good hands. The professionals will not only clean your home they will also assess the building for any structural damage. Professional restoration companies will ensure that everything is cleaned up, that the building’s foundation and structure has not been damaged, and that your building is not at risk for mold or other secondary problems.

24/7 Restoration uses their extensive training and expertise in restoring homes and businesses that have been damaged by water. If you would like more information on flood damage cleanup and water removal in Calgary contact us today at 403.247.4365.

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