How to Handle Flood Damage Like a Pro!
Published on: Jun 18, 2017 @ 14:13
Out of all the natural disasters that can occur to a property, flood damage can be one of the most costly. Depending on the severity, some lucky owners get away with only having to get rid of some carpet and appliances. Others may have to dish out tens of thousands of dollars to fully restore a property.
While many homeowners qualify for disaster relief assistance, most don’t know that homeowners insurance will not always cover the costs of flood damage.
How Flood Water Gets Contaminated
Water from floods are usually a mix of mud, sand, sewage, bacteria and chemical toxins. Floods can penetrate and mix in liquids from sewage disposal sites, water purification systems, and even toxic waste sites.
All of this contaminated water gets soaked and absorbed into everything in your house. Any porous material will leave behind a residue of toxic chemicals once dried. This is why it’s always a great idea to dispose of any porous material such as carpeting, upholstery, rugs, wood and vinyl flooring.
Salvageable materials include anything that is glass, porcelain, plastic, and metal. These items should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly.
Flood Related Damages
Once a flood has passed through your home, several structural damages may become apparent, while others may need a closer look. Inspect your home for any of these types of damages:
- Wood rot
- Warping of floorboards
- Undermining of foundation
- Rood damage
- Termite damage
- Electrical damage
Once you have taken a precursory inspection, it is wise to contact a professional for a more thorough investigation on these structures. Make sure to have professionals inspect:
- Walls and Ceilings for mold
- Heating and Air systems
- Sewage Lines
- Electrical Components
Note: If the following items get submerged during a flood, they will need to be replaced:
What To Do Once The Flooding Is Over?
The most important thing to remember here is to never enter your home if the ground is still wet, unless you made well sure the main power has been turned off.
Always be weary of electrically charged water which can pose great risks during floods, especially the risk of fire.
While time is a crucial factor in ensuring you get your home dried, to prevent further damages, it is always better to error on the side of safety. Consult with an electrician to ensure your home poses no risks to you and your family.
Once you are sure that the property is dry and the power is off, you can enter and start taking account of all the damages and repairs needed.
Once you contact your insurance agent you should begin to:
- Keep a photographic or video record of all the damages before you start cleaning
- Maintain a written list of damages
- Open windows and doors for air circulation
- Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the affected areas
- Remove any debris that may have gotten contaminated by the flood waters
- Remove all mud and dirt
- Inspect for signs of mold
- Start the cleaning and restoration process
- Contact any service restoration specialists to help with any projects
Note: Make sure if you are the one doing the cleaning, that you wear proper protective clothing including a facemask and gloves. Safety glasses, boots, and a respirator would be ideal for maximum protection against any contaminants.
Should my home be tested for mold?
So, with all the bills adding up quick, it isn’t necessary to hire someone to test your home for mold. We know for a fact there is most likely mold in your house after a flood. The question of how much, is determined on how quickly you can dry out the inside of your home.
Remove any water logged items to avoid mold altogether. Being able to identify mold spots will help in controlling the spread and damage it may cause.
Here are a couple ways to detect mold without any special tools:
- Foul smells and odors
- Musty or mushroom smell
- Discoloration on walls or ceilings
- Worsening of allergic symptoms to include: stuffy nose, watery eyes, wheezing and coughing.
If you are dealing with a mold spot larger than 10 sq ft, then it is highly recommended to hire a mold removal company. Click the link to find out what to look for when hiring out.