This is a question we are often asked at our call center before we ever send technicians out. Bottom line is that even in emergency situation, many people are still concerned about costs and rightfully so.
Just to get a single family home safe and dry following a devastating flood costs on average about $8-$15 a square foot depending on finishes (i.e. single wall home, the walls stay, double wall, the walls get pulled) which adds up quickly; yet too many homeowners make the mistake of assuming their homeowners insurance will cover costs of the damages when in reality MOST standard homeowners insurance policies DO NOT COVER FLOODS caused by floods from an outside force due to weather conditions like what we saw this past weekend from heavy rains in East Honolulu as well as in Kauai. Meaning, many people who experienced flood damage and mud entering their home over the weekend, will be left to handle cleanup and damage repair costs on their own.
However if your home is in a ZONED flood area considered high risk, most insured lenders will require that a flood premium is added to your standard homeowners insurance.
We highly encourage that you speak with your independent insurance agent to know the limits of your coverage and what to expect during emergency situations.
Here is a list of things that YOU can do without immediate professional restoration services following a flood if you are unsure of coverage but wanting to respond as quickly as possible:
1. Get Water Out Quickly
Clean up as much water as possible by mopping or blotting the affected area with towels or a dry wet vacuum if handy. Responding quickly will help you to minimize damages and save belongs.
2. Remove Severely Wet Items from Inside your Home
Anything that got wet should be removed from inside of your home to lower moisture and avoid rapid mold growth.
3. Turn Off the Utilities
In a serious water event, turn off the power to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.
4. Do Not Use Any Electrical Appliances
To avoid electrocution, do not use any electrical appliances if your carpet or flooring is wet.
5. Use Fans to Circulate Air
Before a water removal/mitigation team is able to respond, start the drying process by strategically placing fans to effectively circulate air to begin the drying process. This is especially important in the first 24-48 hours after an indoor flood.
6. Move Belongings to a Dry Location
Move wet belongings and furniture to a dry area. Lift furniture onto blocks or slide a square of aluminum foil under furniture legs to prevent the wood stain from bleeding into carpeting.
7. Remove Area Rugs from the Floor
Remove area rugs to avoid carpet dyes from staining flooring, carpeting and wood floors.
8. Do Not Lift Tacked Down Carpet
Carpets can shrink after they’ve become wet and then left out to dry. After drying, the formerly wet carpet will probably shrink and no longer be wall-to-wall carpet if you remove the carpet tacks.
9. Wipe Off Excess Water from Furniture
Open all cabinet drawers and doors for faster drying. Spread out dampened books and documents to encourage drying and prevent further damage.
10. Watch Out for Debris
Be mindful of dislodged materials such as nails that could be present in the water flowing through your home.
11. Don’t Throw Anything Out
Don’t throw out expensive or valued belongings even if they got wet and are now not working. Be sure to document a thorough list of damaged items with photos and videos as soon as you can which will help the claim adjustment process.