Did you recently experience flooding in your area? Did the floodwater enter your home? Then you need to act quickly and consider immediate flood repair to arrest the problem.
As millions of homes in the United States became flood zones because of climate change, we can expect more homeowners to experience water damage due to flooding. And when we talk about the impact of water damage, it transcends the financial side of things.
Water damage can lead to health concerns, particularly respiratory problems. Molds, mildew, and fungi may develop if you leave your house soaking in floodwater.
But how exactly do you restore your home after a flood? What are the immediate steps for addressing a flooded house?
Continue reading below for a comprehensive guide on repairing your flooded home.
Start with a Flood Repair Claim
The first thing you should do before proceeding with your flood repair is to check your home insurance. You want to make sure if you have coverage for flood claims. Connect with your adjuster and schedule an immediate visit.
Give the adjuster all the details regarding the incident. The adjuster will examine the extent of the flood and the damages that arose from it.
Before the adjuster arrives, take photos of your home. These photos will serve as your inventory of everything that is inside your home. Also, keep all the damaged items.
And in case you encounter problems concerning denied or underpaid claims, consult with a reputable firm that specializes in insurance claims.
Check the Electrical Systems and Other Hazards
Next, you want to clean and dry up the area as quickly as possible. This is important as you proceed with the examination of your electrical systems. Before you check any electrical lines, make sure to turn off the main unit.
Do the same thing for your water and gas lines.
If you are in the dark as to which parts to check, read up on this guide by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).
Also, check if you smell any gas leaks. If there is, leave the house and call your utility company immediately.
Extract the Water
Next, you want to extract the water to keep mold development at bay. Before you do so, make sure to remove all the items within your reach.
Put them in a dry area and don’t discard them. You need to keep these items and include them in your inventory.
As for the water extraction, start with your carpets. Remove the carpets and suck out the water using a submersible pump. Alternatively, you can use a wet vacuum.
Make sure to open all windows as you dry out the area. Take note that water extraction is not a simple task. Often, you may need some help from a flood damage restoration company.
Water and Food Sanitation
After drying out the flooded areas and items like drywall and wood beams, you need to clean and sanitize them. Sort your utensils if flood water soaked them. Separate the wooden ones like spoons and cutting boards.
Do the same thing with your plastic utensils, as well as baby items. These include all pacifiers, nipples, and baby bottles that the floodwater reached.
Check all the food items that you have and sort the undamaged ones. These are your canned goods and those that are in plastic or air-tight pouches. But make sure to wash them thoroughly.
Buy a disinfecting solution and sanitize the cans and pouches. Remove all the wet labels and replace them. Make sure to write the expiration date using a permanent marker.
As for the water, get a filter or clean cloth and strain it. Thereafter, heat the water until it boils. Keep the boil running for a full minute then let it cool down.
Aside from removing the carpets, you also need to remove everything that is within your reach. Even if the items didn’t come in contact with water, remove them as well.
The floodwater inside your house can create moisture and humidity. In turn, they can still damage your other items if you keep the latter inside.
Be careful when removing electrical appliances. Before touching any of these items, make sure to cut off electricity. If there are electrical items that are under floodwater, do not attempt to salvage them until you are sure that the power is completely off.
Examine the Walls
Another important part of the house you need to check is your walls. This is also one of the most tedious tasks you need to go through. You want to open up your walls in areas that have floodwater.
Even if these walls do not show any signs of damage, as long as the water reaches them, you need to open them up. Doing so will keep your walls from suffering from structural decay, odors, and molds.
After removing any water buildup, increase ventilation in the room. If the insulation is also damp, remove it accordingly. If you see any streaks of mud on the walls, clean them up using a disinfectant.
You also want to remove your drywall. The key is to dry your walls completely. This, however, will take around a month or so.
Until then, leave your walls open.
Mind the Flooring
Last but not least, you need to replace all damaged flooring. This applies to hardwood, laminate, and tiling. Do the same thing for your subfloor.
Remove the floor coverings and let the subfloor dry up. This will take months to dry up but you can speed up the process by using a dehumidifier.
If you have wood floors, remove one board every few feet away. This will keep the buckling and swelling to a minimum.
Make sure to clean the entire floor area. Disinfect and dry them up to keep molds away.
Protect Your Home in All Aspects
Learning how to perform flood repair is crucial in containing the impact of floodwater. Addressing it early can save you from further expenses and complications. And if things become too tough to handle, it is wise to have a professional step in.
But water damage isn’t the only problem that can cause serious damage to your home. Learn how to deal with other threats by reading our other articles. We discuss topics that will help protect your home’s structural integrity and more.