Water can get into and damage your kitchen in many ways.
While it is unlikely that rain through an open window will cause much damage, large amounts of rain can lead to localised flooding caused either by a river bursting its banks or a failure in hyper-local drainage systems.
Furthermore, water can get in from leaking taps and pipes in a kitchen itself or from a bathroom above the kitchen. When we think of damage, we might think of violent acts like a pipe bursting or wind battering, but water seeping or flooding into a home can be extremely destructive. There are some things you can do to try and minimize the damage.
If There’s a Flood Warning
Quite often, say with a flash flood or a burst waterpipe, you have no warning, but in the case of sustained and heavy rain, there can be flood warnings. In such a case, if you can move anything upstairs and out of the way, do so. This will be your tables, chairs, accessories and other items. It is also possible to remove cabinet doors and drawers too.
The First 24 Hours After a Flood
Of course, put your own safety first. If it is a burst water pipe, turn off your home’s water with the stopcock. With a flood, evacuate the house if possible or wait upstairs and work with emergency services to get yourselves out of the house. Once the flood has receded and the water removed, you should:● Check the visible structure of your home and in this case, your kitchen. Start with the floor, make sure it’s ok and stable; especially if it is a wooden floor.● Then check your utilities – gas, electric, and water mains for damage. You may wish to work with your utility companies or electricians, plumbers, and so on.● Take pictures of all the damage and make a video if you can. Full documentation is essential for any insurance claims you will need to make.● Phone your insurance provider immediately.● Turn off all electrics and water supply until you are sure there’s no more standing water and no mixture of the two.● The water in the home could have been contaminated with sewage, so put your health first, wear waders and other waterproof clothing if you need to wade through any standing water.● Handle water damaged goods while wearing rubber gloves and throw out anything which is beyond repair after taking photos of it.Now it is possible to begin dealing with the problem of the standing water and damaged larger items. The longer water is allowed to stand, especially if contaminated with sewage, the more of a health risk it poses and the more damage it does to furniture, floors, and other items within your kitchen and whole downstairs area. In the second part of this miniseries we will look at removing water, mitigating mold damage, and getting your kitchen back in shape.