What to Do with Flood- Damaged Homes

Flood damage can happen without any warning, and when it does, the fallout can be extensive and unpredictable. It isn’t always an immediate, obvious threat to your house. It may not even look that bad. But the effect of water damage on a building isn’t something that you should ignore.

Your home is very vulnerable when it comes to flood damage. When this event happens, it would be very devastating to see your flood-damaged home. Below are helpful tips to clean up your home from damage caused by flooding.

Be Cautious

  • Inspect for structural and electrical damage from outside to determine if it is safe to enter.
  • Electrical safety is extremely important in floods. Check for fire hazards and gas leaks. Use battery-powered light sources.
  • Wear sturdy shoes, rubber gloves, and eye protection.
  • Be watchful for fire ants, snakes, or other animals.
  • If mold is present, wear a respirator that can filter spores.

Flood Insurance Claims

If you have flood insurance, contact your insurance adjuster immediately.

  • Begin cleanup, salvage, and drying as soon as possible. Do not wait for adjuster.
  • Take photos for use as an inventory.
  • Clean house so the adjuster can see the damage.
  • Keep damaged materials for proof of loss.
  • Leave a phone number where you can be reached when the adjuster arrives.
  • The adjuster will assess damages to the house. The owner should sign a proof of loss statement. Additional damage can be added when found.

If you do not have flood insurance, your homeowner’s insurance likely will not cover the loss. Do not wait for another flood to damage your home again, this is the perfect time to get a Flood Insurance. Shop around, there are many flood insurance providers that offers what you exactly need.

Electrical Systems

  • Be sure all electric and gas services are turned off before entering the premises for the first time.
  • Disconnect the main switch and all circuits.
  • Remove covers from all outlets and the fuse or breaker boxes; flush with clean water.
  • Let dry, and spray with contact cleaner/lubricant.
  • Have an electrician check for grounds and other unsafe conditions before reconnecting the system.

Food and Water Sanitation

Until your local water company, utility, or public health department declares your water source safe, purify your water, not only for drinking and cooking, but also for washing any part of the body or dishes.

  • Water: Strain water through a clean cloth or filter; then boil water vigorously for a full minute; let cool.
  • with flood water, including canned goods.
  • Utensils: Discard flood-contaminated wooden cutting boards and spoons, plastic utensils, baby bottles, nipples, and pacifiers. Thoroughly wash metal and ceramic pans, utensils, and dishes with hot soapy water and sanitize by boiling them in clean water.

Furnishings and Carpets

  • Flooded carpets and rugs are best replaced since flood water may contain contaminants. Flooded carpet pads should always be discarded and replaced.
  • Remove water-logged rugs, carpets, and pads within 48 hours after flooding subsides.
  • If salvage is attempted, spread out rugs and carpets outdoors. Hose off. If soiled, professionally clean or work in carpet shampoo with a broom. Rinse well with a solution of 1 gallon water and 2 tablespoons liquid household chlorine bleach to sanitize (if colorfast). If carpet is wool, do not add bleach.
  • Dry the carpet and subfloor thoroughly as quickly as possible. If carpet is installed damp, it can mildew.
  • Carpet might shrink, but a professional may be able to stretch it.


  • Remove baseboards, and cut holes in wallboard to drain uninsulated walls.
  • Remove the interior surface of insulated walls to a point above water height. Discard flooded drywall.
  • Undamaged paneling may be propped open or reinstalled after cleaning.
  • Remove and discard all wet fibrous insulation.
  • Clean out mud. Wall studs and plates may be sprayed with disinfectant (1 cup bleach/gallon water) to kill any existing mold and fungi.
  • Speed dry with dehumidifiers and fans.
  • Leave walls open until they have thoroughly dried, which may take up to a month.
  • Select replacement materials that will withstand future floods (such as rigid foam insulation, removable wainscoting, ceramic tile, etc.).

There more unexpected events that may damage the home that you built, protect your home and your property. Insure them and save yourself from any out-of-pocket expenses with the help of ONYX Insurance Brokers. Contact or Email us now!

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