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An umbrella policy can be a valuable supplement to your homeowners coverage.

Flood Events

Getting the Moisture Out

Make sure that you remove:

  • All water as soon as possible from your home. Wash out mud, dirt, and debris with a hose or mop and sponge.
  • Water-soaked furnishings (but keep them available for your adjuster to see).
  • All wallboard and paneling to the flood level, being careful to take pictures of the water line before you do so. Wallboard acts like a sponge when wet.
  • Flood-damaged insulation, which can hold water for months after getting wet. Plaster walls can usually be adequately drained by removing the baseboard and breaking out plaster and lath at the bottom of the wall. Later the baseboard can cover the opening.
  • Vinyl-covered wallpaper. It will restrict drying within flood damaged walls.
  • Wet carpeting, taking a picture before you do so and saving a small sample for your adjuster.

Once wet carpeting and wet wall surfaces have been removed, the dry-out process can effectively start. At this point dehumidifiers and fans are useful especially when outside humidity levels are high. When using them, shut windows and doors.

This information is provided by Jackson Adjustment Company, Inc.

Mold Prevention

Detection: Molds can usually be detected by a musty odor. Discoloration of surfaces is common with mold growth. The mold may change surfaces to white, green, brown, black, or orange.

Conditions for Mold Growth: Molds grow on organic materials such as paper, leather, dirt, tile grout, and cement. They grow best at warm moist temperatures between 77 and 86 degrees F.

To Prevent Mold: Cleaning, disinfecting and drying surfaces prevents mold growth. Mold will grow on damp surfaces within a couple of days at normal temperatures. Reduce humidity levels by using dehumidifiers and air conditioners. Also, ventilate with outside air during the winter when outside temperatures are colder than indoor temperatures. Ventilating with summer air typically increases the air's relative humidity. Increase the flow of air within your home. Move furniture away from walls and open closet doors to permit air circulation.

This information is provided by Jackson Adjustment Company, Inc.

Pumping Out Your Basement

Before you enter a flooded basement:

  • Turn off the electricity, preferably at the meter.
  • Check outside cellar walls for possible cave-ins, evidence of structural damage or other hazards.
  • Turn off gas or fuel service valves.
  • Open doors and windows or use blowers to force fresh air in the basement.

For safety reasons, do not use an electric pump powered by your own electrical system. Instead, use a gas-powered pump or one connected to an outside line. Fire departments in some communities may help with pumping services.

No matter the type of basement wall construction, if the basement is flooded with more than 6 inches of water, don't be in a big hurry to pump it out. More damage could be caused by pumping the water out too soon than by letting it remain. Water in the basement helps brace the walls against the extra pressure of the wet soil. If pumped too soon, floors may push up and walls cave in. Don't pump until water around your home recedes. Then follow this procedure to prevent further damage:

  • Remove about a third of the water each day.
  • If the outside water level rises again after the day's pumping, start at the new water line.
  • Don't rush the pumping; the soil may be very slow to drain. Whatever is submerged in the basement will not be damaged further by delaying the pumping.

This information is provided by Jackson Adjustment Company, Inc.