Top tips when disaster strikes
In almost all cases, precautions taken before or first actions immediately after a flood help to minimise the consequences and accelerate the recovery process.
Polygon has many years of experience in dealing with the aftermath of flooding to buildings and their contents. Time plays a crucial role in reducing damage caused by water and mud. Many inventory items can be saved if a technical drying process starts within 24 to 48 hours after the event. This helps increase the success rate of the ensuing restoration process (vacuum drying, chemical disinfection and subsequent remediation).
- If a threat exists for inhabitants, disconnect the house from the main electrical supply.
- Make sure that temporary lighting is available (flashlights, candles).
- Secure documents and personal valuables.
- Secure your pets.
- Secure appliances or valuables if possible on upper levels of the building. If this is not possible, stack them on pallets, tables, etc.
- Valuable pieces of furniture should also be raised to protect against humidity.
- If possible, remove all carpets and store on a higher level.
- Do not wade through flood water if the electricity is still on or there is a chance that the water is contaminated.
- Ventilate the house as much as possible by opening windows and doors.
- Remove wet carpets or textiles from the house. This reduces the drying time of the building and inventory.
- Place aluminum foil, wood blocks or saucers between furniture and floor coverings (especially wet carpets that cannot be removed). This prevents the water from being absorbed by the furniture, causing further damage.
- Secure contaminated photographs, books or documents by removing excess water and placing in cold storage (refrigerator or freezer if still in operation). Do not try to dry them. In a cool or frozen state, Polygon can help restore these documents by using a special process.
- If a freezer has been contaminated with flood water or been turned off, it should be cleaned as soon as possible and all contaminated and defrosted foods should be discarded.
- Contact your insurance company and report the damage. Most insurance companies have help hotlines to report incidents.
- Have policy numbers, your personal information and a brief description of the damage pattern on buildings and equipment, including photos, readily available.
- Contact a professional restoration company if this is not provided through your insurance company.