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What Should You Do When Waters Rise?

5 Tips to Recover from Flooding in Your Philadelphia Home

No matter how it happens, flooding in the home is always a disaster. Whether from a burst pipe, a sewer overflow or heavy rains, flooding disrupts lives, destroys belongings and damages property. And most homeowners are completely unprepared for dealing with the aftermath.

At Joseph Giannone Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we don’t want any of our Philadelphia neighbors to experience the effects of flooding in their homes, but we know that sometimes, disaster strikes. If your home has flooded, here are some steps to follow to keep yourself and your family safe.

1.Turn off the Utilities

If flooding is due to a burst pipe, your first step is to turn off water to your house as quickly as you can. Depending on the severity of the flooding, you might also want to turn off electricity (because water and electric don’t mix!) and natural gas. If you smell the rotten eggs odor of natural gas, evacuate immediately and call 911. To turn off your utilities quicker, tag your water and gas valves.

2.Call a Pro

It’s a good bet that no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to fix all the flood damage on your own. Call a professional restoration and remediation company immediately to ensure the job gets done safely and correctly.

3.Proceed with Caution

You should assume that any flood water is contaminated. Even if it came from a clean-water pipe, once it left the pipe it likely came into contact with contaminants like household chemicals or even sewage. If moist conditions have existed in your home for several days, mold could also be a problem. Protect yourself with heavy boots, waders, gloves, eye protection, mask or even a respirator.

4.Document Everything

Ideally, you should wait until an insurance adjustor visits the property before starting work, but in cases of widespread flooding, it could take them a while to get to you. Take pictures and document the state of your property before you begin work to remove water or repair the damage.

5.Remove the Water

Start removing the water from your home, whether with a sump pump, hoses or buckets. Once most of the water is gone, you can remove even more with a wet/dry vac. If your sump pump is broken, call a professional to repair it. Again, in case of severe flooding, a professional clean-up company might be better prepared to get the job done quickly and safely.

6.Ventilate

Once the water is gone, everything will still be damp. To prevent mold from setting in, open windows, set up fans and use dehumidifiers. Your home’s air conditioning system can also act as a dehumidifier. Consider calling a professional restoration and remediation company to make sure mold doesn’t grow.

Of course, no one wants to get flooded in the first place, so prevention is also key. Get your plumbing inspected regularly and give your sump pump a seasonal tune-up, too. This will ensure that small problems don’t become big disasters. To schedule an inspection of your plumbing or sump pump, call Giannone today at (215) 375-7134 or contact us online.
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