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Seven steps to reduce flood damage

A fast response is essential after a water leak or flooding. Whether in your own house or in a shop, office or factory, there are seven easy things that should be done quickly.

Our list will help you limit secondary damage to your belongings, help your insurer help you, and speed up your return to normal everyday life.

ONE: Turn off the mains water
If you have been hit with a vertical leak of water from a pipe, it is essential that you locate the stop-cock quickly and stop the flow. Make sure you know where your stopcock is and how to access it.

TWO: Switch off mains electricity
Electricity and water are a dangerous combination. Thus, having the power on in the building whilst there is water washing around could threaten your safety. If live circuits are already dangerously close to moisture then caution must be exercised and an expert called in.

THREE: Call damage restoration experts
Have Richfords Fire & Flood’s number at hand or stored in your phone so that you can call for immediate advice on what to do next. The faster we are brought in to stabilise the situation, the faster you will be able to get back to normal. It also means fewer of your possessions will suffer extreme damage.

FOUR: Record the damage
Help your insurer help you by taking photographs of any damage. A record of what is damaged and to what extent will mean that a swifter assessment can be reached by the loss adjuster.

FIVE: Rescue valuable possessions
If the conditions allow you to access your possessions safely, then try to move as many out of the way of the water as possible. Put furniture up onto polystyrene blocks and move valuables upstairs if flooding is in progress. Even photographs can be restored if they are saved quickly enough. Damage restoration experts will advise you over the phone how to do this.

SIX: Open windows
Opening the windows is essential to preventing the build-up of moist air in a building. Allow for a good through-draft of air as long as the external conditions are right. Obviously, this might not be something to do if there is torrential rain outside.

FINALLY: Health and safety
Take care of the safety of your family, friends, employees and yourself first. Not only are there obvious dangers of mixing electricity and water, but there can also be hazards from sewage and other contaminants. Be careful not to put exposed flesh with cuts or abrasions into dirty water. If you feel unwell after a flooding incident, consult a doctor immediately.