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After the flood

If you are unfortunate enough to be flooded, here are a few pointers for when you first get home

Your insurer will arrange for a loss adjuster and other specialists to visit your home to assess the damage. They will project-manage much of the clean up, so speak to them before acting on anything. Find out what they are going to do – take photographs of contents and any water damage – the more the better. Remember it may take up to 12 months before the repairs are completed.

If you have to clean & disinfect:

  • Wear protective clothes, boots and rubber gloves.
  • Use a brush, soapy water and heavy duty cleaner, then rinse.
  • Floodwater may be contaminated so disinfect all areas affected after cleaning.
  • Make sure you wash your hands with antiseptic after cleaning up.
  • Disinfecting also kills most mildew and mould.

Don’t fully re-occupy your property until after the following:

  • All standing water has been removed particularly from the underfloor area.
  • The Fire & Rescue Service can pump out standing water but will charge for non-emergencies. Otherwise use a pump (from hire or DIY shop), or use buckets followed by wet/dry vacuum.
  • Shovel out mud (which may be contaminated) then hose out or use a garden sprayer.
  • Remove flood damaged carpets but keep a sample for your insurance company. They will want to see this as part of your claim.


  • Good ventilation is essential – keep windows and doors open on dry days and remove air brick covers – maintain security.
  • Use fans plus industrial heaters and dehumidifiers. These will be provided by your insurance company if you are insured. When using dehumidifiers close all windows to ensure drying properly occurs.
  • If possible have central heating on at 20C or above.
  • Drying out can take several weeks or even months.

Who can I speak to?

  • Insurance – contact your company’s (24 hour) emergency helpline as soon as you can. If paying for help, keep receipts for any emergency pumping or repair work done. Take meter readings of gas or electricity. Keep photographic records of ALL flood damage.
  • Your local flood recovery centre – this will most likely be set up and advertised after a flooding event has occurred.
  • Your local council’s Environmental Health department.
  • The Scottish Flood Forum have considerable experience in dealing with the aftermath of floods.
  • Your G.P. regarding issues of stress, anxiety and other health issues.