7-Tips to Fix My Flood

7-Tips For Dealing With A Water Escape From Burst Pipes, Water Leak or Flood in your Hertfordshire Home

1 STOP THE WATER! Isolate the leak by turning the water off

One Your main water shut-off valve/tap (also known as a Stop Cock) is normally located near your water meter, or under your sink.  Also its helpful to know many major fitted items like toilets, sinks and baths have their own shut-off valves location close to them (these values may require a screw driver or small adjustable spanner).
If you can’t find your main shut-off valve you will always have a tap outside your house (maybe on the path in the street).
Failing that … open (turn on) ALL the cold water taps in the house as this will reduce the water pressure and reduce the water loss until you can control it.

2Turn electric off especially in the case of a flood

If water is likely to come into contact with electric make sure you DO NOT turn any light or electric appliance ON.  If your water has come though a ceiling and or down walls take great care in using lights and electric sockets in that room.   With excess water over the floor will be a problem with the amount of electric sockets/extension leads we have in use today.   If in doubt turn your electric OFF at the mains until you call a professional to inspect it.

3 Health & Safety!

As well as the obvious slip and fall hazard of went floors, if your flood has anything to do with water that may have mixed with sewage (toilet back-up) or come from outside (i.e. water travelling over your garden, like flash floods or from flooded rivers) YOU MUST NO TOUCH IT.   This water is classed as BLACK WATER and is a health hazard… so keep your family away.  If you need to touch something make sure you use rubber gloves.  The rule is if it can’t be professional sanitised and cleaned it needs the be disposed of.

4 Keep a ‘Digital Record’ of what happened!

Take as many photos (and videos if possible) of the leak/flood and the damaged it has done.  Using your smart phone is fine.  The more evidence of the ‘Flood’ and how it happened will help with your insurance claim.

5 Open pockets of Saturation (OR MOVE TO STEP 6)!

If safe to do so – remove all flooring, such as carpets, underlay, hardwood, laminate or sheet vinyl, to expose pockets of saturation underneath for cleaning, sanitising and drying.  You WILL NOT be able to dry the floor safely with a covering on.  If in the kitchen or bathroom remove as many base plinths (kick boards or skirting boards etc…) to expose under the cabinets/bath.
If the water (even clean water) soaks into a stud work wall (plasterboard wall) you will need to remove the skirting boards and make holes to expose the cavity.  Fresh air needs to be pumped into the cavity to prevent Black Mould forming.   If your internal walls are solid (ie brick and plaster) you should still remove the skirting board to allow quicker drying.   Should you have a ‘Grey Water’ or ‘Black Water’ flood (possible pollutants fixed in the water) the plaster board on stud wall and plaster on solid walls should be removed to 20cm (8″) above the wet line.

6 Contact your insurance provider!

Contact your insurance company to report the damage and make a claim (remember step 4 and take photographs and keep receipts of emergency expenses)  BUT BEWARE!  Your insurance company may offer you a cash settlement.  Often this may seem a good deal if you can do the work yourself and have cash in your hand.   However if your flood is not fully sanitised and dried professionally secondary damage can occur.  This can be from floors bowing, doors not closing (or opening) and kitchen cabinets warping … or even 12-months later you find family members becoming sick as Black Mould has formed inside your walls, under your floors or behind cabinets.

7 Contact Me… For Free Advice!

Even if you only have a small flood (and you are in Hertfordshire) I’ll be happy to come and give you FREE Advice on how to deal with your leak or flood.   It maybe that you can deal with your flood yourself and my FREE Advice may save your ‘Insurance Policy Excess’ and save you the ‘loss of No Claims Bonus’ on your next premium.   Some people are also concerned who your insurance company may send around … and you have the right to select your own restoration company … and with ‘Fix My Flood’ I will be the only person you will deal with.
For a complete Flood Damage Restoration Service with a local and personal touch call Mark on 07774 771387