A flood in your apartment can throw you for a loop and mess up your comfortable lifestyle, but with the right steps, you can quickly recover and get things back to normal. From stopping the flooding as quickly as possible to restoring and replacing damaged items, here are five steps to take if your apartment floods.
Find what caused the flooding
If you notice your apartment flooding, your immediate first step should be to discover the source of the flooding. The most common causes of household flooding are a broken pipe, poor drainage, clogged gutters, a damaged foundation, or a malfunction with the dishwasher or washing machine.
Once you’ve located the source of the flooding, see if there’s anything you can do to temporarily stop the water from flowing. For small amounts of water, placing a bucket to catch water or old towels to dry it can help. If flooding is coming from the laundry machine, simply turn the knob behind the machine in a clockwise direction to shut the valve. For flooding coming from the dishwasher, unplug it or flip the breaker that controls power to your kitchen.
Save anything that could be ruined
After you stop or slow the water, quickly move anything that could be ruined by water, especially technology or important papers. Set up a fan and dehumidifier if you have them to start drying out the place, and point a gentle fan at any wet papers.
Document any damage that was caused
You’ll want to take photos and notes of all the damage that was caused by the flooding, as well as details about the source of the flooding. This information will be important in the next step as you address the issue with your landlord and insurance company.
Be sure to document every detail of the damage caused, even if it seems insignificant. The more detailed and thorough you can be, the more compensation you could be eligible to receive from your insurance company.
Talk to your landlord and renter’s insurance company
Next, you’ll want to call your landlord and notify them of the problem so they can work out a solution. As a tenant, you’re legally entitled to safe and livable housing, so it’s your landlord’s responsibility to handle the problem as quickly as possible. You may be liable to pay for some damages if you directly caused the flooding.
After contacting your landlord, you should contact your renter’s insurance company to file a claim for your damaged and destroyed personal property. Renter’s insurance should cover the cost of replacing destroyed clothing, electronics, furniture, decor, and more up to the dollar amount of your policy.
Make a plan for repairs and replacements
After working things out with your landlord and insurance company, you’ll want to make a plan for replacing or repairing damaged property and getting your apartment back to a comfortable and livable state.
Money from the insurance company should help with this, but you likely won’t be able to replace everything with the same quality, so it’s useful to keep an emergency fund in savings for times like this.