Grappling with the aftermath of a flood or water-related disaster can be overwhelming for many homeowners. Apart from possible damage to personal belongings, flooding can harm the house's internal structure and compromise its environment. While it’s tempting to re-enter your home, flooding poses various health risks for you and your family until home restoration is complete. The following guide offers safety tips for returning home after a disaster.  

How to Go Back Home After Water Damage

1. Turn Off the Electricity

Never enter a home with standing water while the power is still on or use any electrical devices while inside. Switch off the main power from the outside and consult an electrician to ensure there are no unforeseen issues before turning it back on. When re-entering, also check for gas or chemical spills and turn off the gas valve if you suspect any leaks might be present.

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2. Only Use Safe Drinking Water

Check with your local health department on whether it’s safe to drink or use running water. Flooding can contaminate private water systems, such as groundwater and wells, with sewage. When in doubt, have your water tested by a health official before consuming it.

3. Drain Excess Water & Remove Unsalvageable Items

If your home has been closed off for several days, assume that items may have mold and any standing water is contaminated with sewage. After taking extensive pictures for your insurance company, call professionals for help. They will use a wet-dry vacuum or a water pump to remove excess water. They can also discard upholstered furniture, rugs, and anything with fabric, which is not salvageable. 

Move other furniture outside to dry, such as solid wood pieces. Place glass, ceramics, and metal belongings in separate containers to disinfect them later. 

4. Ventilate the Space

Once everything is moved out or in storage for later disinfection, prioritize ventilating the space to prevent mold or mildew from accumulating elsewhere since fungi can lead to respiratory issues for your family members. Weather permitting, open all windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate inside. A home restoration specialist will bring fans, dehumidifiers, and air scrubbers to disinfect the air and clear out excess moisture. 

5. Replace Drywall & Carpet

Carpet cannot be saved after a flood, and if it’s been longer than 24 hours, drywall will likely become infected with mold. A home restoration specialist can usually replace any carpet and padding and fix walls impacted by water damage to restore your home's structure. A specialist can also advise on how to prevent water damage in the future.


If your home has been impacted by flooding or a significant water leak, the experts at Solid Management Disaster & Restoration Services will help. Located in Pagosa Springs, CO, their team provides comprehensive water extraction, home restoration, and remodeling services for homeowners who need to rebuild after extensive flooding and disaster damage. Contact them by calling (970) 946-4562, or visit their website to learn more about their offerings.