Dealing with the damage left over from a flood is definitely not on anyone's list of fun things to do. Most floods occur in the basement as this is the natural pathway to which water flows when it enters your home. Also, basements are the main entrance and exit paths for plumbing systems. If you're dealing with other materials besides water like sewage, the problems and challenges become even worse. Floods definitely rank high on the list of things that can cause the most stress in your life.

Most experts agree that the faster you clean up the better. The longer water sits the more damage it does. Getting all the water gone as fast as possible is the best way to minimize damage and prevent dangerous mold growth. The first thing you need to do is decide whether or not you want to clean up the mess yourself or hire a professional. Even if you want to do all the work yourself, you have to take into consideration whether or not you have access to equipment that will get the job done right. If you don't have the time and/or equipment to do the job effectively you have to consider what the long term effects may be on the condition of your home.

At best, a wet/dry vacuum should be used to remove any standing water. You'll also need something to keep air moving on a continuous basis. Whether or not you can do the job yourself might also depend on how quickly you can get your hands on the materials and tools you need.

You should also talk to your insurance company to find out what is covered under your plan and if they can recommend any flood damage restoration companies in your area. If you begin to feel overwhelmed by the task at hand don't be afraid to ask for help. You don't have to tackle the job alone.

Either way, there's a few things you need to do right away in order to get the "healing" process started for both your house and your mental well-being. First, get air circulating by opening nearby doors and windows. You can increase circulation by running window, ceiling, and floor fans. However, be careful with electrical cords and outlets. Make sure the fans are plugged in away from standing water. Second, if you have air-conditioning be sure to turn it on. This may sound strange especially if it's cool outside but low temperatures help prevent the growth of mold, mildew and fungus. However, don't run the air conditioner if it's less than 60 degrees outside. You might damage the unit.

Flood damage restoration can seem like a long and tedious process but the most important thing is just getting started. Once you do that you'll begin to see some progress and eventually you'll see a light at the end of the tunnel--or in other words, the floor.