5 Fundamental Flood Facts
According to the National Flood Insurance Program, floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States and the average flood claim amounts to $42,000. With statistics like this, knowing these 5 flood facts may some day save you a boat load of trouble - and money!
1. WATER IS MORE DAMAGING THAN YOU THINK Water is often called the universal solvent. Why? The USGS Water Science School says it’s because “water dissolves more substances than any other liquid - meaning wherever water goes, either through the ground or through our bodies, it takes along valuable chemicals, minerals, and nutrients.”
Sean Whitney, a Field Supervisor at Baxter Restoration tells us, “No matter where it came from - a slow leak or a flood - water can cause significant damage. If not addressed immediately, water can rot wood, rust steel, peel paint, cause mold, and ruin drywall. It is also capable of delaminating materials such as plywood.”
2. WATER + TIME = MOLD Think quick and act fast! Mold will begin to grown within 24-48 hours after the area has been exposed to moisture. If you have unwanted water in your home, you can either perform a DIY water damage restoration, OR call your insurance company right away. They will tell you exactly what to do and will put you in contact with a restoration company. Technicians who are on call 24 hours a day, will come dry out your home and belongings immediately.
3. THINK YOU HAVE FLOOD INSURANCE? You probably don’t. Most of us rest assured at night believing our homeowner’s insurance policy has us covered in case of a flood. This is not true. Your homeowner’s insurance policy covers water damage - not flood damage. Yes, water damage and flood damage are different and therefore flood insurance is indeed a separate policy. Still unsure? Call your insurance company and ask! They will recommend a flood insurance plan based on where you live and what your needs are.
4. FLOOD WATERS AREN'T SAFE There are 3 categories of water contamination explained by the IICRC, referring to pollution levels.
Category 1 Water - water which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed. This water may become contaminated due to time and temperature - as it comes in contact with soil, walls, flooring, etc.
Category 2 Water - water with some degree of contamination that could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed. Time and temperature will further contaminate this water as well.
Category 3 Water - water which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed. For example sewage and rising flood water from rivers and streams.
Flood rule of thumb - If you can, avoid coming in direct contact with flood water. If it gets on your skin, wash it off with soap and water as soon as you can.
5. YOUR HOUSE IS BASICALLY A GIANT SPONGE When water comes into your home, it has to go somewhere. That somewhere, unfortunately, is your house and its contents. Porous materials touching the floor in your home like couches, carpets, and beds, will soak up the most water. Wood is also porous and will begin to swell and warp over time if the moisture is not removed right away. Your walls and flooring will begin to soak up water too. The bottom line is: DON’T WAIT. Call your insurance company right away. As long as the water and moisture are still there, more damage is being done.