What should you do following an incident of major flooding?
- Contact the Insurance Team on 020 7697 2585 to report the incident and they will be able to help you as much as possible in the first instance.
- If physically unable to move or remove furniture/carpets etc, the Insurers can instruct professional contractors.
- Do not touch the electrics. Insurers can arrange for an electrician to check the electrics and, if necessary, disconnect the lower wall sockets.
- If the floodwater is contaminated, do not touch or remove the carpets. Insurers will instruct professional contractors.
- Although items will want to be dried as quickly as possible, do not expose them to extreme levels of heat as this could result in further damage.
- Open all windows during the day and turn off the heating to save energy. Later in the day, close windows and put the heating back on at a low, constant temperature, but do not do this if the weather is wetter or colder outside , security will be compromised.
- Remove excess water from photographs/valuable paperwork, keep tightly together and leave to dry naturally.
- Blot up excess water where practical from sodden areas of flooring using mops and old towels.
- Clean out fridges and freezers as soon as possible and throw away any food affected. If you have the relevant insurance cover, remember to keep a list of the food items for the claim and if possible take photographs.
- Store damaged furniture and fittings in a dry place away from the walls. They may have a salvage value or be repairable and will certainly need to be inspected.
- Remove all soaked rubber-backed carpets from the house, as these will have to be replaced. Leave hessian-backed carpets down on the floor to dry, as they will shrink if lifted. Once they are dry, the carpets can be lifted to dry the areas underneath.
- Do not attempt to redecorate straight away. It may take weeks for a property to dry out properly. Check with a decorator or other expert to ensure that the walls and other surfaces are treated to prevent mould.
- If gas supplies have had to be turned off, ensure an approved person has checked them prior to switching back on.
- Exercise caution when walking around flooded areas as there may be hidden hazards.
- Be aware of rogue tradesmen offering cheap repairs. Always consider reputable companies.