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Recovering from a flood

Recovering from a flood
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Operations - Store and Insure

The aftermath of a flood can be drawn-out and stressful

A flooded home is one of the most distressing experiences a person can have. The clean-up is complex and emotionally draining, but breaking the task down into smaller steps can make it seem more manageable.

If you had prior warning your home was likely to flood, you may have been able to take precautionary measures, as described in our recent blogpost. However, sometimes nature wins and all you can do is wait for the floods to pass before embarking on making your home clean, dry and habitable again. Frustratingly, this can take weeks, and sometimes months. Replacing damaged furniture and fittings is a costly and lengthy business – and not usually a task most of us have faced before. It can feel like you’re sinking even after the waters have subsided.

Of course, one of the first things to do is contact your insurance company or landlord, then keep a written and photographic record.

Everything you plan on keeping must be thoroughly dried out, especially if you are going to store those items while you decorate or refurb. This can take a long time and a great deal of ingenuity and effort. Some dry weather helps!

The clean-up operation
  1. Once you are safely back in your home, you must keep gas and electricity shut off
  2. Make sure you wear protective gloves and clothing, wellington boots and a face mask while removing water and your possessions. The water may be contaminated or contain sharp objects.
  3. You might need to use a generator and pump if there is a lot of water still inside your home.
  4. Dig out mud and sediment washed into your home by the floods. Avoid pressure washers as they can send germ particles into the air.
  5. The carpets must come up, and any other flooring that has allowed water through.
  6. Remove wall coverings and insulation.
  7. Scrub down all your floors, walls and surfaces with disinfectant.
  8. Open your doors and windows to let the air through.
  9. Once your power is back on, you can use dehumidifiers, or air con if you have it.

There is plenty of online advice including the Environment Agency’s leaflet ‘What to do before, during and after a flood’.

Once you have dried out your precious possessions, storage is well worth considering – at least while you lay new flooring, paint and redecorate. If you are lucky enough to be a beneficiary of some donated furniture, this could also be stored.

Do you have to have insurance for self-storage?

Most storage facilities insist on your belongings being insured, but you don’t need to sign up to the deal they are offering.

At Store and Insure cover starts from just 57p a week per £1,000 sums insured. This includes Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) and all fees and charges. There is no extra cost for using a credit or charge card and you are covered while your belongings are in transit. Cover is ‘new for old’ and there is no excess if you use a company which belongs to the Self-Storage Association (SSA) or The British Association of Removers (BAR), or has an approved facility.

Why not let self-storage take the pressure off you while you take time to rebuild your home and your family life after a flood?