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Water is one of the most powerful forces on earth, and there are many ways it can damage your home through flooding. Depending where you are located, flooding can occur because of an overflowing river or creek or a large amount of rain over a short period of time, or when a spring thaw happens quickly. Coastal flooding can come from hurricanes or other wind-driven waves.

No matter how the water arrives, it causes issues if it gets inside your home, and there are different ways to clean up after water damage once the water subsides.

Types of Damage Caused by Flooding

Contamination

High waters can drive mud and other sediment into your home, leaving a thick layer of the mess even after the water has subsided. Flooding can also cause raw sewage to fill your home from overflowing sewer lines.

Mold

Anything that has been wet for more than 48 hours runs the risk of growing mold. Most molds can be removed with a strong cleaning, but many molds are hazardous to your health and should be handled with extreme caution by experts.

Erosion

Water can erode soil and rocks and can even shift foundations. Look for areas where running water has occurred because those are the most susceptible to erosion.

Loss of Life

The power of flood waters can drown crops, livestock, pets, and other animals. People are often lost in flood waters as well.

Debris left by the floodwaters can also cause secondary issues. The germs and bacteria that grow in the remnants of a flood can cause health hazards. Garbage also attracts pests that will add even more issues to an already complicated situation.

What can be damaged by flooding?

Anything that comes in contact with flood water has the potential to be damaged or destroyed. Vehicles submerged in water will be difficult to completely repair. Houses can be moved off of their foundations by a few inches, or they can even be washed away entirely.

Inside a home, the insulation and drywall can become damaged or destroyed by water. Flooring can be warped, and electrical systems, heating and cooling systems, and gas systems can all be affected by flood waters.

The duration of the flooding and the height that the waters reached will all play a part in determining the water damage that was caused. It is important to document the flooding with pictures, but it is equally as important to ensure your safety.

Call your insurance provider as soon as you know that the flooding has caused a problem and then follow the steps they suggest. Seek a professional evaluation for flood damage because of the possibility of hidden water damage.