THE Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has warned that water ingress can significantly damage homes and properties and it is important that home and business owners take precautions to reduce the risks associated with flooding both now and for the future.
Chartered Building Surveyor, Krystyna Rawicz of the SCSI said “if your home does become flooded unexpectedly, the main priority is to ensure the safety of the occupants of the property. It is important to turn off electricity and gas and to unplug any electrical items which may be covered in water, provided it is safe to do so”.
The Society also said that homeowners should also be aware of their responsibility under most insurance policies to mitigate the damage as best they can by stopping water ingress where possible.
“It is also important that homeowners who have been affected by flooding should remove the damaged items but should not dispose of them until the loss adjuster has inspected them, where there is cover in place”, said Ms. Rawicz.
In response to the recent unprecedented flooding throughout the country, the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has issued some tips for home and business owners affected by flooding The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has outlined some key tips which it hopes will assist homeowners who find themselves in an unexpected flooding situation.
Key Tips for homeowners dealing with flooding as it happens:
1. Turn off all electricity and gas supplies which may be affected by water and unplug any electrical items. Disconnect washing machines, cookers, dishwashers to prevent further damage.
2. Move costly possessions and important documents upstairs for their protection and move other lightweight furnishings upstairs.
3. List useful contacts such as the fire brigade, the police and family members. Ensure that you have your insurance company contact details.
4. Stock up on sandbags and place them in doorways to fight the water ingress.
5. Raise other furniture on blocks if possible to avoid them becoming damaged.
6. If you have an insurance policy in place on your property, contact your insurance company immediately.
Key Tips for After Flooding has occurred.
1. Be aware of possible structural damage. If there are any signs of damage (cracking/bulging to walls, floors or ceilings) do not return to the property. There may be a risk of collapse. An inspection will need to be undertaken by a Chartered Building Surveyor or Structural Engineer to confirm whether it is safe to re-enter the property.
2. Electrical Risk: The electrical system should be checked by a RECI registered electrician before reconnecting/turning back on electrical power.
3. Reinstatement may take weeks or months: Due to the sheer number of claims, it may take a little time for your claim to be processed. Cleaning and drying out the property is a slow process and cannot be rushed. Trapped water can result in serious long term damage to the property, including the risk of ongoing damp, mould and mildew, wet and dry rot, and presence of fungal spores which can trigger allergic reactions. Once the property is clean and dry, reinstatement works can be undertaken. If the damage has been severe, professional assistance is recommended to ensure all aspects are adequately dealt with, including any potential structural damage.
4. Stress and trauma: Having your home or business flooded is very traumatic. As well as the immediate loss of your home/belongings, there will be associated financial worries, uncertainty, and fear in relation to the risk of re-flooding. Ensure you have adequate supports around you at this time, and where necessary seek professional support.
The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland www.scsi.ie