Flood clean-up tips

22nd January, 2019

The Cleaning up process after a flood can be just as devastating and just as dangerous. It is important to take precautions. Follow our advice below.

Conduct an initial site assessment with qualified personnel if necessary

Flooding can cause unsanitary and toxic spillages and can produce an electrocution risk. You must be aware of the risks before any cleaning takes place. If you are concerned, ask a professional for their advice.  

Severely damaged areas of a building should be reviewed by a qualified structural engineer and you should contact your utility provider about the safety status of your property. Do not reconnect electric or gas until your utility provider has cleared you to do so.

Enter the property with care

You should be fully equipped before entering the property. Make sure you are wearing protective clothing, have a first aid kit on hand, have plenty of drinking water and disinfecting cleaning equipment.

You should also take a camera with you to document the damage. This may be useful when reporting the flood to your insurance provider.

Assess the damage

This may include damage to the structure of your building, live electrical wires, broken glass, ruined contents and more. Photograph all damage.

Be cautious of wild animals

Your flood damaged property may be a place wild animals and lost pets seek shelter. If you see any wildlife, such as rats, mice, or birds, call your local sanctuary or pest control. Seek immediate treatment if bitten by an animal.

Review your insurance policies

Begin the claims process as soon as possible, armed with photographs where you can. Ask them for guidance on which damaged goods can be disposed of, and what should be set aside for evidence. It is important to always maintain contact with them throughout the process.

If you require Residential Flood Insurance or Commercial Flood Insurance, please click here for further information.

Begin the clean-up process

Start this process as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Be cautious of mould and using electrical equipment that could have come into contact with flood water.

Verify the status of protection systems

If you own a business property, check water supplies, fire pumps, automatic sprinklers, fire alarms and security systems. Report fire protection system outages. Urgently make repairs and post security personnel on site if protection systems are compromised.

For residential properties, you should check and replace all alarms as soon as possible.

Clear roof drains, balcony drains and ground-level drains in preparation for further rain. If more flooding or heavy rainfall is predicted, set up sandbags or other recommended barriers at low level doors and entrances.

Click here to read more about preventing the damage of flooding.

Begin restoration work

Trained professionals may be required here. It is important to keep a note of all of your spending during the clean-up process in case your insurance provider asks.

Restoration work may include repairing fittings, redecorating, changing the floor and so forth. You should prioritise any work that may be a danger to yourself or the public if it is not completed quickly.

Ensure you maintain contact with people affected

In a residential property, you may need to stay in a hotel. You must ensure you have all you need with you as re-entering the property may not be prohibited whilst work is being carried out. Keep your family up-to-date with what is going on to avoid stress.

If you are in a business property, ensure all members of staff are aware of what is going on and arrange a work schedule around this. Their safety should be top priority. Factor in any disruption to work, particularly deliveries.

Only return to normal when it is safe to do so

People should only re-enter the building if it is completely safe to do so and there can be no damage to health.

For further information on flooding and flood risk management, speak to a member of our team on 0115 973 4437 or click here to request a callback.

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