How long it takes to dry out a house after a flood depends on the extent of the damage, when it is safe to reenter the house, and more. When your home experiences water damage from a flood, there is a chance it could also face mold. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that buildings should be cleaned within 24 to 48 hours to best avoid mold after a disaster.
After the large pools of water are removed from your home, you can start to dispose of debris and begin the drying process. Homeowners might already have drying tools in their home, such as a dehumidifier or fans.
Best Ways to Treat Your Home After a Flood
While it typically takes at least 12 hours to dry out a house after a flood, there are several steps that can be taken to quickly clean and treat your home after water damage:
Circulate Inside Air
As mentioned, fans and dehumidifiers are great tools to dry out your home after a flood. If you can safely use a generator, do so to power these devices. When using these tools, ensure that the windows of the home are closed to help remove the moisture. If you do not have a fan or dehumidifier, you can try to dry out your house by simply creating airflow into your home by opening all the doors and windows.
Clean Up Debris
Remove debris as quickly as possible, as these items could be trapping more water that can create further water damage or lead to mold. Carpeting and furniture are two common items that can create mold in your home.
Discard Spoiled Food and Water
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that homeowners throw away any food that was impacted by the flood, as it could do harm to your body if eaten. You should check all the food in your home and throw it away as needed.
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What You Should Know About Insurance Policies After a Flood
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), flood victims have up to 60 days to submit a Proof of Loss if they plan on using their flood insurance. Additionally, some homeowners’ insurance policies will not cover a flood. A lawyer can help you understand the coverage and specifics of your current homeowners’ insurance policy.
Do You Have Flood Insurance?
Insurance companies can be very particular about the circumstances under which they will pay for your damage. For example, you may have hurricane insurance, but this does not necessarily cover flood damage, even if the flood was allegedly caused by the hurricane.
Flood insurance policies often must be purchased separately from other types of policies. If you are unsure of what policy types you have, speak to your insurance agent or a flood damage attorney.
Getting Compensation After Flood Damage
There are several steps you can take to help protect your rights and interests after a flood. These include the following.
Take Pictures of the Damage
Before you do any clean-up, document the damage done to your property by taking pictures or video. This means taking pictures of water damage, crumbling walls or floors, and so on.
You may also want to take pictures of your property before a storm hits. This makes it easier to show a before-and-after comparison and prove that the flood is responsible for the damages you are seeking compensation for.
If you start cleanup and repairs before getting the insurance money, make sure to save all relevant bills and receipts. For example, if you hire a contractor to redo your kitchen floor, you will want to keep the contractor’s estimate for how much the repairs will cost as well as the bill they send you for completed work.
Even if you do some of the repair work yourself, there may be relevant evidence you can save. If you buy paint to repaint water-damaged rooms, for instance, keep the receipt.
Speak to a Lawyer
A flood damage attorney can help you pursue damages by:
- Assigning a dollar value to your damages by assessing your property, examining relevant documentation, and so on
- Filing a claim with the insurance company on your behalf
- Discussing your case with the insurance adjuster and relaying messages between the two of you
- Negotiating for a reasonable settlement
Cooperate With the Insurance Company
After filing a claim, the insurance company will likely send someone to your property to assess the damage for themselves. It is important that you cooperate with this investigation by allowing them access to your property and supplying documentation if they ask for it.
However, it is just as important that you tread carefully when dealing with insurance agents. They may be looking for a reason to deny or reduce your payout, and you could inadvertently give it to them by:
- Making it sound as if certain damage occurred before the flood
- Giving a recorded statement that they can examine for inconsistencies
- Making it sound as if wind or something other than flood waters did the damage, which could mean that your policy would not cover it
This is why hiring a law firm as soon as possible is such a good idea. Whenever the insurance company contacts you, let your lawyer know, and they can handle all communications for you. This way, you do not have to worry about misspeaking and accidentally endangering your payment.
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The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Can Help
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you pursue compensation for covered losses after a flood. Once we confirm your health and safety after a natural disaster, we can help you file a claim.
For more information on storm loss property claims, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 or reach us online. We can start your free case evaluation, help you manage your claim, and work toward a settlement.
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