After the waters have receded, emergency officials have given permission to re-enter your home and you know your loved ones are safe, here are some next steps…

Flood Insurance Claims

If you have flood insurance,
contact your insurance adjuster immediately.

Consider contacting government offices
for relevant and helpful information.

If you do not have flood insurance,
your homeowner’s insurance likely will not cover the loss.

If the flood has been declared a federal disaster by the President,
you may be able to secure FEMA assistance:
1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
1-800-462-7585 (TTY)


  1. Take photos and/or videos for use as an inventory and record of damage and loss.
  2. Damage can be added when found.
  3. Keep damaged materials (as appropriate - check with your insurance agent) for proof of loss.

Clean Up - Don't Wait

Begin cleanup, salvage, and drying as soon as possible
Do not wait for your adjuster as it could take weeks for him/her to meet with you.

When to Call Floors Etc.

If your flooring was damaged in a natural disaster flood. Floors Etc. can help.
We've helped clients through Harvey, the Tax Day Floods, Ike, Allison, and more.

We understand floors and insurance companies.

Safety Tips for Clean Up and Storage
  1. When cleaning, wear a mask, gloves and coveralls to minimize exposure to possible hazardous materials
  2. Open all the windows and doors to the home to allow airflow into the house, safely starting the drying process.
  3. Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia or vinegar.
  4. Mold can be a hazardous result from a flood.
If mold is present
      1. Consider a professional service that specializes in post-flood cleanup
      2. Wear a mask that can filter spores.
Electrical Safety
  1. Be sure all electric and gas services are turned off before entering the premises for the first time.
  2. Download and carefully review the publication, “Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment,” by
  3. Have an electrician check for grounds and other unsafe conditions before reconnecting the system
  4. Use battery-powered light sources.
  5. Check for fire hazards and gas leaks.
Dress to Protect
  1. Wear sturdy shoes, rubber gloves, and eye protection.
  2. Rely on Bottled Water for Everything
  3. Assume flood water and flooded materials are contaminated.
  4. Until your local water company, utility, or public health department declares your water source safe, purify your water, not only for drinking and cooking, but also for washing any part of the body or dishes.
Watch for Critters
  • Flood waters bring them out – be watchful for fire ants, snakes, or other animals – then steer clear!
The Danger Persists After the Rain Stops
  1. Make sure that everyone is out of danger of new flood crests, fire, and falling buildings.
  2. If unsure about an area, it is safest to stay out until it has been deemed safe by the City or a licensed professional.

Hardwood Floors

Water and wood just don’t mix!

Living in Houston, we know this is not groundbreaking information.

When water sits on top of hardwood floors, it can cause permanent damage as the wood will absorb the water - leading to warping, cupping, buckling, discoloration, etc...
So as soon as it's safe, you’ll want to remove the water and dry your floors as quickly as possible.

Steps You Should Take...


Remove any mud, debris or silt that still may be on the hardwood floor.
Carefully use shovels to remove the top layer of mud and then use plastic dustpans to help remove the lower layers of mud.
  • The dustpan’s plastic edges will reduce the likelihood of more scratches being introduced into the floor.
Use a non-abrasive brush and detergent that doesn’t suds up and scrub the cracks and surfaces of the hardwood floor.
Rinse with clear water.


Once you’ve been given the “OK” to turn back on your power, turn on the air units, furnace, heaters, etc. – until the temperature of the home reaches between 75 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re working with a flood restoration company, large heaters or special fans and dehumidifiers might be brought in and hooked up to a safe external power, like a generator, to help dry out your home.

If you have a crawl space, the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recommends you use exhaust fans.
If you have a basement, the NWFA recommends drying the floor from below.

Leave things this way until the flooring flattens out back to its normal state.


The National Wood Flooring Association
strongly urges you to
resist giving into any pressure
to make any quick fixes
to your hardwood floor.


Let Floors Etc. determine the extent of the damage.
Boards may be cupped, crowned, or separated completely from the finish, showing signs of warping or buckling.
This damage might require replacing some or all of your flooring.
Floors Etc. will assess your damage for you, and we will work with you and your insurance company as you determine your next steps.


Watch for mold or mildew.
You may also find mold beginning to grow, or mold that has found its way in under some of the finish.
A professional abatement company might be required to eradicate the mold growth.


Be patient. The entire drying and cleaning processes can take weeks or months before the wood to return to normal moisture levels and the hardwood floor restored - if restoration is even possible.
PLEASE NOTE: Replacement might be your only option depending on the level of damage.


Dealing with a storm that's flooded your home and soaked your carpet is no fun!

Water-soaked carpets become water-damaged carpets before ice melts in August—and water-damaged carpets need to be replaced ASAP.
If you don't get those wet carpets out... Quick! Quick! Quick!'ll be facing bad odors, mold, and even structural damage to your house.


Remove water-logged rugs, carpets, and pads within 24 to 48 hours after flooding subsides.
This is assuming you are safely able to enter your home.
PLEASE do not enter your home until it has been deemed safe to do so!


Flooded carpet pads should always be discarded and replaced.


Floors Etc. recommends that all flooded carpets and rugs be replaced since flood water may contain harmful contaminants.
If salvage is attempted, spread out rugs and carpets outdoors.
      • Hose off whatever you are attempting to salvage.
      • If anything is soiled, have it professionally cleaned.
      • Dry the carpet and subfloor thoroughly and as quickly as possible.
NOTE: A carpet that has been saturated and then dried might shrink, but Floors Etc. may be able to stretch it – we will tell you up front if we think this is possible.

Upholstered Furniture and Mattresses, just as with carpets and rugs, should be discarded if contaminated by flood water.
If an upholstered furniture piece is deemed too valuable to part with, have it assessed by a professional to see if it can be safely salvaged.
Solid Wood, Metal and Plastic Furniture may be able to cleaned and restored.
Hose off any mud, clean, sanitize and let dry completely out of direct sunlight.
Please seek the guidance of a professional restoration company for further advice.
If flood waters reached your walls, it is recommended that you Consult a professional contractor to determine next steps.
Even if your walls appear undamaged, it is possible that water could cause future mold, odor, and structural decay.

DISCLAIMER: Floors Etc. is not a mold expert or remediation specialist.

Undamaged, commercially prepared foods n all-metal cans or retort pouches (that were not exposed to extended heat) can be saved if you remove the labels, thoroughly wash the cans, rinse them, and then disinfect them with a sanitizing solution.
Also – be sure to re-label with a marker, including expiration date. If unsure, it always safest to discard.
It is recommended to discard flood-contaminated wooden cutting boards and spoons, plastic utensils, baby bottles, nipples, and pacifiers. Thoroughly wash and sanitize metal and ceramic pans, utensils, and dishes. 
If unsure, it always safest to discard.