Getting back to normal after a flood
What to expect
Things won’t get back to normal quickly; recovery of buildings and property damaged by flood water is a specialist process and can take a long time. You may need to move out of your home into temporary accommodation and you should bear in mind that it may be several months before you’re able to move back in. Don’t assume all is lost – things can be restored. From antiques, art, jewellery, fabrics to ceramics, papers, photographs and furniture, specialist restorers and conservators can return badly damaged items to their former glory.
If you have insurance
You should contact your insurer as soon as possible so that they can get help to you quickly. Your insurer may be able to arrange temporary accommodation for you and your family and will be able to advise you on what to do next. Start identifying items that have been damaged. Make a list and take pictures if you can – it’ll make it easier for your insurance company to deal with your claim. Your insurer will start the cleaning, drying and repairs to your property as soon as practically possible.
Aviva customers – we are here for you 24/7
- Call one of our personal claim managers: 0844 8911 222
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- If it’s not an emergency, you can complete our online form: http://www.aviva.co.uk/home/form/home-claims/
Our claims team are working hard to help all our customers affected by the floods. We are here for you anytime day or night, when you need to make a claim.
Your personal claim manager will help you to find temporary accommodation for you and your family, if needed, arrange surveyors’ visits, source replacement items and will handle your claim from start to finish.
If you don’t have insurance
There is help out there. Contact your local authority for information on grants or charities that may help you. There are contractors who specialise in the recovery and restoration of property following a flood but be aware there are also some unscrupulous workmen who may offer you a cheap and immediate solution at a time when you are feeling vulnerable.
- Always check contractors’ experience and reputation. They should be professional technicians experienced in water damage recovery and restoration.
- Ask contractors to get you a specialist opinion and cost estimate. It may be cheaper for you to get some items restored rather than replaced.
- Ensure flood resilient measures are considered in any repairs (eg moving electrical sockets up or fitting water preventative air brick covers).
The clean up
Here’s some advice from the Environment Agency on cleaning up your home.
- Take care. There may be dangers in the water such as sharp objects and raised manhole covers.
- Flood water can contain sewage, chemicals and animal waste. Always wear waterproof outerwear, including gloves, wellington boots and a face mask.
- If your electricity supply is not already switched off at the mains, get a qualified person to do this. Do not touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water.
- You can get water out of your property using a pump and generator. Position the generator outside in the open air as generators produce carbon monoxide fumes which can kill.
- Only pump out water when flood levels outside your property start to be lower than inside. This reduces the risk of structural damage.
- A garden hose is useful for washing down. Do not use high-pressure hoses as they blast contaminated matter into the air.
- Local councils usually provide skips and extra rubbish collections for items that your insurance company has agreed you can throw away.
For more on what to do after a flood:
- Visit http://www.aviva.co.uk/news-and-guides/severe-weather-advice/what-do-during-flood/
- The environment agency www.environment-agency.gov.uk
- Floodline 0345 988 1188 or 0845 988 1188
For more about measures to reduce the impact of flood damage British Damage Management Association (BDMA) – restoration, recovery and damage management practitioners
www.bdma.org.uk 07000 843 236
The National Flood Forum’s Blue Pages – contacts for specialist flood experts
The Flood Protection Association – represents makers and installers of flood protection products
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors – details for an expert in your area