Now that the water has receded, the real work begins. Therefore, we have decided to give some helpful tips in ensuring that you will get the best start to getting your life back together.
1) Take pictures and videos of the damage before you begin any clean up. Whether or not you have insurance, you have to take pictures of your damage if you want any chance of qualifying for assistance.
REMEMBER, INSURANCE COMPANIES OFTEN USE A PROGRAM CALLED XACTIMATE TO ESTMATE YOUR CLAIM. This program is owned by the insurance companies and may underestimate your claim. Therefore, you may have to haggle/argue/negotiate with the adjuster.
2) Assess the damage. If you were flooded, how high was the water? A rule of thumb is that every porous thing at or below the flood water line needs to be removed and discarded.
3) If you were flooded and the water reached your electrical sockets, you may need to turn the power off to the house.
4) Open the house up. Open the windows, doors, skylights, anything that can help the air circulate in the house.
5) If your drywall is/was wet, remove the drywall and insulation from approximately 12-18 inches above the highest waterline and below. Discard in an environmentally safe way.
6) Spray your walls with a mold inhibitor solution.
7) If your electricity has not been compromised, then turn on and lower the air condition in your house. In addition, turn on the ceiling fans, dehumidifiers and industrial fans if you can get one or more.
8) LET THE WALLS AND FLOORS THOROUGHLY DRY OUT BEFORE CLOSING IN THE WALLS.
What if I do not have any Flood Insurance?
1. Flood insurance may be characterized by underinsurance because it is not meant to completely repair your home or even dry your house.
2. FEMA W-13025a provides guidance for the reimbursement of the cost of drying a building.
3. Often, the cost of drying your home is more than your insurance will reimburse due to the complexities of a flood. Additional cost may result from the lack of electricity, or compromised structures.
4. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) does not cover many aspects of a flooding incident. For example, water extraction from wet carpet and furniture are not covered.
5. You must keep a daily log of affected and non-affected areas, equipment outputs, and humidity/wetness readings.
6. Flood water can be disastrous and is classified as Category 3. You must remove porous materials that are wet. Your insurance policy will generally not cover the drying of these items.
7. The NFIP does not cover air scrubbers, ozone machines, generators, negative air movers, air filtering equipment, and PPE .
8. NFIP does not cover the removal of damaged furniture unless content coverage is purchased.
9. A generator is not covered even if your electricity has been disconnected or is damaged because of water penetration.
10. Resultant damage or secondary damage is not covered by the SFIP. Consequently, mold is not covered by FEMA.
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Get Help Today:
Career and Recovery Resources, Inc.: 713-754-7000
Workforce Solutions: 1-888-469-5627
Texas Workforce Commission: 1-800-939-6631
Unemployment Benefits: Disaster Unemployment Assistance: 1-800-621-3362
Access Health: 281-342-4530
City of Houston Health & Human Services: 832-228-9411
Food Assistance: 2-1-1
Harris County Housing and Community Resource: 713-696-1998