Dealing with a flooded home can be devastating, but it’s important to take action as quickly as possible in order to save your belongings, protect your finances, and prevent more harm to your property. Here are a few steps to help simplify the daunting process and get you through this ordeal:
1. Protect Yourself and Your Family
You and your loved ones come first, so it’s important to assess the situation when facing a flood and minimize the time you spend in your damaged home. Exposure to flooding can be dangerous but, if you must enter the property to gather your personal possessions, there are a few important safety tips to remember. Always inspect the exterior of the home to ensure it’s structurally sound. Do not enter the property if you see cracks, holes, or damage to the outside of the house until you can confirm that it’s safe to enter. You should also remember to cut the power to the property at the circuit panel to avoid electrocution, even if the power already seems to be off because it could be restored at any time. Lastly, when moving about the home without power, use flashlights in order to prevent bodily injury in the dark.
2. Organize Documentation
One of the most important tasks to complete right away is gathering receipts and providing detailed documentation of all your belongings, any home improvements and important property information to provide to the insurance company when filing your claim so that you receive the appropriate reimbursement for those assets. Make sure you’re thorough in your documentation, and the more receipts you can provide for home improvements, the more money you will receive from your insurance claim.
3. Take Photos and Videos
It’s a really good idea to back up your documentation with photographic evidence. Providing detailed pictures with your insurance claim will simplify, speed up the process and prove the authenticity of your claim. Make sure you capture images of both the interior and exterior of the home and include a timestamp on those photos. You should also measure and mark the water level in the photos and try to capture the whole process – when it first floods until the water recedes – in order to show the extent of the damage. You can also provide video evidence of the devastation that was inflicted on the property due to the flood.
4. File an Insurance Claim
Make sure you file your claim sooner rather than later. Insurance providers usually take anywhere from 1 to 4 months to process claims, and most operate on their own schedule so, if your claim is one of many being submitted for flooded homes in the Houston area, you’ll want to be one of the first to get your paperwork in. If you own your home and the property has been damaged beyond repair, the insurance company should pay you the worth of the property plus an additional amount for your lost belongings. If you have a mortgage, your insurance company will either pay you an amount they deem fair in order for you to remodel your home or provide a payment to the bank in order to cover the amount still owed on the property if the house is unlivable.
5. Remove Water and Protect the Property
Once you’ve received approval or have been instructed by your insurance provider, you will want to have the water removed from your property as quickly as possible to eliminate further damage. There are companies you can hire to help with the task, or you can remove the water yourself by purchasing a sump pump or water vacuum from the hardware store. If there is an extensive amount of water in the home, make sure you have the appropriate tools and manpower to prevent injury. It is also crucial to secure your property to prevent further flooding damage. Protect exposed parts of the home from continual rain by covering any holes in your roof or walls with a tarp or waterproof material.
Additional Tip: Sell Us Your Flooded Home
If your home is unlivable and cannot be repaired, your insurance company will provide financial reimbursement toward a new home, but it can be hard to sell a damaged property. No matter how many times your home has been flooded, we are here to help and would love to buy your property from you, as-is, at a fair price with a quick cash purchase.
To learn more about handling an insurance claim for your property or selling your flooded home, please call PPS House Buyers at 281-306-5055 or fill out our simple online form.