Document Damage and Start Clean Up

Rebuilding after a flood can be difficult. If you have flood insurance, you don’t have to go through it alone.

After you’ve started your claim and ensured it’s safe to enter your home, you can begin the recovery process by documenting damage and taking steps to stop the spread of mold.

Document your flood damage

Before removing flood-damaged items from your home, policyholders should be sure to take the following steps:

  • Take photos and videos of the damage, including structural and personal property damage on the inside and outside of your home, before discarding items. Remember to take photos of the insides of closets and cabinets. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to prepare your claim.

  • Take photos of the serial numbers for large appliances, such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators.

  • If possible, provide receipts to your adjuster to document damaged property for your flood claim.

  • Keep samples of carpeting, wallpaper, furniture upholstery, window treatments, and other items for your adjuster. The type and quality of material may impact the amount of your claim.

  • If the building’s electrical, water, or HVAC systems are damaged you should initiate repairs. Consult your insurance adjuster or insurance company before you sign any cleaning, remediation, or maintenance agreement.

After taking photos, you should immediately throw away flooded items that pose a health risk, such as perishable food items, clothing, cushions, and pillows.

Mold and clean up

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance policies will not cover damage from mold.

Policyholders are strongly encouraged to begin cleanup and documentation immediately after a flood to prevent the growth and spread of mold.

In some instances, it’s not possible for a policyholder to get to the property to begin cleaning. In these cases, mold damage may be covered if:

  • An authorized official has banned entrance to the area. Officials may restrict entrance because of downed trees, downed power lines, destroyed roadways, or other reasons.
  • Floodwaters remain around the home, or in the area, impeding the policyholder’s ability to inspect and maintain the insured property.

Learn more about safe mold clean up tips for after a flood.