Where I live, we have several months out of the year that are packed with devastating storms. These storms have been known to damage entire communities and leave many people's lives turned upside-down. During the days and weeks following these storms, we pull together as a community to help each other rebuild and repair the homes we live in. We have worked alongside some of the best damage contractors in the country. This blog contains a ton of information about the things that we have learned from those contractors during these devastating times each and every year through the worst possible storms.
One of the problems homeowners face after flooding is that restoration companies might not be able to come out quickly. If the flood was widespread (and not just isolated to your home, as with a burst pipe), restoration companies are going to be very busy trying to save everyone's stuff. As an alternative, you can call in a mitigation company, which will remove the main problems like excess water. However, as you wait for the restoration company to arrive after the mitigation company has finished, you'll need to do a few things to help make the restoration go smoothly.
Double-Check Insurance Status
Stay in touch with your insurance company and verify that each company that helps you out -- mitigation, restoration, and any others -- are covered by your insurance. Sometimes a policy won't cover work done by specific companies, for whatever reason. So, don't assume that just because you are paying the restoration and mitigation companies that your insurance company will reimburse you. If you find that the one you planned to use isn't covered, you may have time to find a new one.
Keep Photos Wet (Yes, Wet) Until Otherwise Instructed
Photos and other papers should not dry out while you're waiting for the restoration company. These paper goods will form hard masses if allowed to dry, making it impossible to save the photos or papers. You do need to keep these wet so that you don't end up with a lump of colored pulp. The only time you should let the papers or photos dry is if the mitigation or restoration company has instructed you to do so.
Secure the Home
If your home is in such a state that you can't stay in it, even after the mitigation stage is done, take time to inspect the doors and windows, boarding up any that are broken. Ensure each has working locks, including pin locks or thumb locks on windows. An unattended house in a disaster zone is a magnet for curious onlookers with sticky fingers. Protect your home by reviewing and improving the security.
Depending on the type of water damage you're experiencing, the mitigation company may have additional advice for you. Before they leave, ask them if they can point out anything else that you should do while you wait for the restoration team. Many times there will be little steps you can take to preserve or even restore items on your own. Visit http://fgsfrontrange.com/ for more information.