Indoor floodwater damage almost always results in homes and buildings turning into hazardous places. Entering these structures puts you at risk of injury, and may cause an array of health and safety hazards, too.
Electrocution is one of the biggest risks of entering a flood-damaged home, as electrical circuits may have come into contact with floodwater. This is particularly true if the water level reached wall outlets.
Don’t set foot inside your home, especially flooded areas, if the power is still on. Even if the water level seems manageable, Waterdamage-saltlakecity.com warns against using electrical appliances while on wet carpets or floors.
Water-damaged structures are not safe, and you should not assume they are. Only a building inspector or an engineer can tell you for sure whether your home is still structurally sound or not. Exit your home immediately upon hearing noises, if there’s shifting, or if a part of your home looks like it’s about to collapse.
Floodwater doesn’t just cause damage outside by trapping people and carrying away cars. It can also lead to the spillage and spread of hazardous materials, including gasoline, fuel, insecticides, pesticides, and household cleaning chemicals. In many cases, this problem is apparent, since you can easily smell them. However, even if there’s no odor, don’t assume you’re not in danger.
You may sustain injuries due to slips, trips, or falls because of slippery or structurally-compromised floors. Part of the wall or the ceiling may also collapse on you, causing physical trauma. You’re also at risk of cuts and lacerations when you walk around in the floodwater and don’t notice broken glass and other sharp materials.
Although it’s tempting to try salvaging what is left, cleaning up the place, or simply giving it a look, it is better and safer to ask experts to assess your home first. This way, you can avoid the above-mentioned dangers.