Flooding is not only the most common but also the most costly type of natural disaster in the U.S. No other kind of natural disaster has cost more lives and property damage in the country than flooding.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average homeowner spends anywhere from $1,046 to $4,059 to restore flood damage in their property. The cost greatly varies, depending on the extent of the damage. Good if you only had some minor ceiling and roof drips, wet drywall, or broken fixtures. But what if flood water has gotten to your basement or home foundation, caused rotting and mold growth? What if it left your carpets, furniture and home appliances far from being used? Be prepared to spend a lot more (cleanup costs not included). You defintely need some flood damage restoration tips.
Tips To Prevent Flood Damage
Flood damage and restoration cleanup can certainly be overwhelming. Thankfully, the following tips and tricks with water damage restoration should make things a little easier on you, make the process more efficient, and hopefully, pull down the costs.
Here are some water damage tips that experts swear by:
Flood Damage Cleanup: Steps to Take
Efficient flood restoration starts with cleanup. It’s probably the most daunting part of flood water damage restoration but is the first and most important. If you’re clueless about how to clean up after a flood, here are the key steps to make:
- Prioritize your safety. Always wear protective clothing and mask, as well as rubber boots before cleaning up after a flood. Flood water can contain sewage or other contaminants that could harm your health.
- Before you start, prepare everything you need such as the supplies, disinfectants, cleaning products, and tools. Different surfaces may require different cleaners.
- Remove standing water using pails or pumps. Vacuum the surface afterward.
- Remove all soaked and contaminated materials.
- Take out removable furniture for easy flooding clean up.
- Clean the floors then the walls next.
Flood water should be removed within 24-48 hours. If the flood damage is extensive, you may need help from flood remediation professionals.
Disconnect the power, unplug any electronics
Before doing the cleanup, you should shut down the power supply in your home. If your home has been severely damaged by flood, remember that electrocution can be a serious threat.
To ensure your safety, always follow these electrical safety tips:
- Once the water has been removed or pumped out, keep in mind that almost all flooded electrical equipment or appliances are already ruined. Never try reconnecting them to the power source and switching them on until you have a go signal from a licensed electrician.
- Unplug all electronics. Never touch electrical equipment with wet hands or when you are standing on a wet surface.
- Have your home electrical system, from the panels to the wires and switches inspected for damage before turning your power supply back on.
- Do not enter your flood-damaged basement until the electrician has removed your home’s electrical meter from its socket as it is the only way for your house to be completely disconnected from the grid.
- Most electrical fixtures should be replaced. Ask a licensed HVAC contractor if your heating/cooling system can still be salvaged.
Remove Flood Water
There are several ways to remove flood water from your house. But before anything else, you should always assume that flood water is contaminated so again, make sure you are wearing protective clothing, shoes, gloves, and mask. Also, keep your cleaning products and tools handy. If you don’t have power at home or are afraid that there’s loose electrical wiring, you can always remove water the traditional way. Of course, you will need buckets, mops, old towels or rags. You will also need disinfectants and detergents, soaps, and other cleaning products. Once you remove the water, you should dry the area using a vacuum.
A shop-vac cleaner is a good investment. The water will suck all the water from around your house and drain it faster. Once you manage to get rid of most of the water, it’s time to check the hidden corners of your house for any hidden moisture, water, and mud.
Dry out the Affected Area
Once flood water is removed and the affected areas were thoroughly cleaned, it’s time to dry them. This can be as exhaustive as the cleanup process and should be done immediately to prevent moisture-related problems in your home, such as rotting and mold growth.
Take the following steps to dry out the affected area(s):
- Let air circulate around your home by opening doors and windows when possible.
- Take out water-damaged furniture and furnishings and dry them under the sun.
- Rent or buy high-powered fans or blowers like air movers to speed up the drying process. Use a portable dehumidifier to eliminate water vapor from your indoor air.
- Look for wet/dry shop vac that is rated for wet conditions. It’s best for drying carpets, rugs, curtains, and other fabrics.
- There are products that help remove moisture from your home, such as desiccants. You can place them in sealed areas like closets and containers to help dry the items inside.
Prevent Mold Growth
Mold build-up is one of the worst consequences of flooding in homes. Proper measures should be taken immediately in order to prevent mold growth. Take note that mold and mildew love moist places and they grow really quickly, within 24 to 48 hours of water exposure. If not addressed soon enough, mold poses serious health risks to your family.
Here are important steps to prevent mold growth during flood restoration:
- If it’s less humid outside, open doors and windows. Effective drying of affected surfaces should save your home from the dangers of mold build-up.
- In addition, to cleaning wet surfaces, remove porous or absorbent materials that you can. The living spaces or areas should be completely dried before you restore your items back.
- If you notice signs of mold growth, have it cleaned immediately. You can do it by yourself as long as you do it with caution. Better, seek help from professional mold cleaners.
- Run a dehumidifier and fans inside your home.
- Check for signs of water leaks. Burst pipes, plumbing issues, cracks in walls, and holes in the roof are causes of moisture. Have them fixed to prevent the onset of mold.
Flooding is a serious problem that thousands of homeowners deal with every year. Flood can cause serious problems in your property and if not addressed soon enough, can lead to very costly repairs. Flood restoration is best done by the experts. However, there are some things you can do to lessen the damage to your home before actual help arrives.
Flood restoration starts with cleanup. This is a daunting process but must be done thoroughly. You want to remove all flood water, dirt and mud that accumulated in your home, especially the hard-to-reach corners. There are tools that you can use to make flood cleanup easier, such as a sump pump which you can rent from local contractors in your area. Make sure that all electrical devices and switches in your home are turned off before you start with the cleanup and restoration work. Lastly, you need to dry the affected areas in your home. This should also help prevent the onset of mold, which could pose serious risks to your family’s health.
With the tips mentioned above, you should be able to effectively get rid of water and restore your home to its top shape once again.