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Here's what to do if your home is damaged by heavy rain and flooding

First, homeowners should take pictures of areas where water pooled in the house, documenting any damage it may have caused.
Credit: michelmond - stock.adobe.com

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, several inches of rain poured over some East Tennessee communities.

A storm developed over western Knox County and parts of Anderson County, staying in the area for several hours and dumping more than 7 inches of rain in some areas, in just a few hours.

As a result, creeks rose and trees fell onto roads, knocking out power and damaging vehicles. Water poured into some homes, causing costly flood damage. After the storm, some homeowners were wondering what they should do if their homes were flooded.

First, they should take photos of the flooding and document the damage that it could have caused. Renters should also immediately call their landlords, telling them about the situation so that they can arrange for it to be fixed.

Homeowners should call their insurance and let them know about the flooding as well. If they are covered for flood damage, they can start the claims process. Insurance adjusters may then document personal property damage, structure damage, and floodwater levels.

People should throw away flooded property and supplies, like food items, clothing, pillows and other items that could soak up moisture. Holding onto them could be hazardous to people's health. Mold can also grow after a flood, causing damage to the home.

To minimize mold growth, homeowners should try to dry up flooded areas as much as possible. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said that the Standard Flood Insurance Policy will not cover mold damage if they do not take actions to prevent mold growth.

They may use dehumidifiers to remove moisture if it is safe to use electricity. If they see large amounts of mold growing already, homeowners should not use fans. They can help spread spores throughout the homes.

Homeowners can also clean the area with water and detergent, removing any mold growth they may see. After wiping up an area, homeowners should make sure to immediately dry it.

Painting over mold will not cause it to stop growing. After work is done repairing flood damage, people should not be able to see or smell any mold in their homes.

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