How To Recover After a Flood
Every year, the UK suffers from the effects of excess rainwater and burst riverbanks and reservoirs. This isn’t just an issue in autumn and winter, either; with droughts in summer, the longed-for rain can then struggle to absorb into the ground as the surface is so dry.
So, with flood risks and warnings now existing throughout the year, you need to be aware of what to do should your home or business be affected. Prevention is always the first barrier, but unfortunately, the water can’t always be completely kept away.
If you are affected by flooding, Speedy Services has a guide below on everything you need to know, from how to check if it is safe to go back to your property to how to remove the water and dry your home.
Flood recovery: Everything to know
Before you do anything, contact your insurance company to inform them of the flood and get their advice. You may be able to claim if you’re covered for major flood damage or a flooding event, which will go a way towards the financial burden of flood recovery.
Insurers will usually send out a loss adjuster to examine the damage and analyse the steps to be taken. If the number of flooded properties is vast, this could take a while to commence, so ask about temporary accommodation. There will be recovery funding set aside.
If you are not insured, contact the National Flood Forum for help and support on 01299 403055. Renters should contact their landlord, who will deal with insurers on their behalf.
If you had to leave your home, check with the local authorities, environment agency and emergency services whether it is safe to return. Your home may need to be inspected before you can turn utilities, such as gas and electric, back on. There may also be public health alerts if the water contains chemicals or sewage.
How to safely clean up your home
Before you begin cleaning:
- Take photos to record the damage. Your insurance company may need these as proof
- Make a note of the timestamps and dates of everything—it’s a good idea to try and timestamp the photos you take
- Record anything which has had to be thrown away immediately, such as food
- List details of all flood damage
- Use a permanent marker to mark the highest level which the water reached on the walls
If your case is particularly severe, your insurance company may be able to hire professionals to clean your home.
If not, you will need to hire flood recovery equipment. Your local Speedy depot can help here, and we also have a range of products with 4-hour online delivery which means you can get to work as quickly as possible.
You need to ask your insurance company whether it is okay to commence the clean-up and replace items. When you have the all-clear, your equipment can get to work.
1. Wear PPE
Flood water can be dirty and contain all manner of awful things. Don’t allow your skin to come into direct contact with the water; wear waterproof or disposable full-length clothing, footwear, and gloves, as well as masks and eye protection while the majority of the water is being removed.
2. Pump away excess water
Use a pump, such as the Obart LSC1.4S Puddle Sucker Pump, to remove water down to as low a level as possible. It requires electricity but can get water levels down to just 1mm.
3. Dry the structural surfaces
Once the water is gone, the dampness can unfortunately still be around for days. You need to try to dry flooring and walls as much as possible, to limit the damage and structural effects.
Open all windows and doors to encourage airflow if the weather is okay. Hire a dehumidifier, such as the Dri-Eaz BD1000 Portable Dehumidifier, which will be able to quickly dry out large rooms and can be moved around the home with ease. It can extract up to 48 litres per day.
For particularly severe cases, you may need more than one dehumidifier, in which case the Dri-Eaz F571 cube dehumidifier is great for smaller rooms.
4. Heat your home
Heating the affected rooms speeds up the evaporation of fluids, but it will also make for a more comfortable environment for you if you’re working in the building. Use heaters once the room is well on its way to being completely dry.
A diesel heater will mean you can use it if it is not yet safe for your utilities to be turned on. Something such as the Master BV77 21kW Diesel Indirect Heater can be moved around the home with ease, and is also incredibly powerful and gets to work quickly.
Diesel heaters should be used in well-ventilated areas, so you need to be able to keep the windows open.
5. Clean everything
Once your home has dried out, you need to clean everything before it can be lived in again. Disinfect surfaces, wash anything such as upholstery on high heat, and throw away anything which can’t be saved, such as carpets and sofas.
Check with your insurance company whether you can throw away these items, but by this stage, it should be clear what can and can’t be saved.
Again, use PPE such as gloves when cleaning, and breathing apparatus and eye protection if it is particularly strong cleaning fluids.
IS THERE FLOOD RECOVERY EQUIPMENT HIRE NEAR ME?
Yes. Speedy Services, the UK's leading tool hire company, have a range of submersible pumps and drying equipment for hire nationwide.
Speedy has more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery, so we are here when you need us the most, fast.
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