Fixing a house after it has suffered a flood is not just about drying the floors or walls after the waters have receded and airing the contents of your home. Most times, when there has been a flood in a house, you truly cannot fix the damage without tearing it into the walls or flooring.
However many homeowners do not know this or prefer not to know it because they want to avoid the hassle. But failing to restore your house after it’s been flooded thoroughly will not save you money. As SGI Property Management in Plano warns, it will cost you money because the damage will only become worse.
What are the steps for restoring your flood-damaged home? This post answers that question.
How to restore a home after flood and water damage
First, it is important not to delay cleanup. It is also vital to find a qualified cleanup contractor. After an area has been flooded, demand for home restoration services will increase, and fraudsters will try to cash in on that demand. If you live in a flood-prone area, you should find a cleanup contractor before disaster strikes and establish a relationship with them.
Step one: Safety
Turn off the electricity supply to your house. It is also a good idea to turn off the gas too. Do not attempt to do this yourself unless you have the skills. Instead of putting yourself in harm’s way, contact your electrician and plumber and have them carry out the disconnections.
Step two: Protect yourself
Before the cleanup, put on your protective equipment (PPE). You will need an N95 mask or N100 respirator because of all the home’s mold, sewage, and toxic materials. You also need rubber gloves, boots, and clothes that you can dispose of later.
Step three: Document the damage
Before you do anything, you should document the damage to your home. Walk through the entire house with your smartphone and a notebook, taking notes, pictures, and videos of the scenes. These records will come in handy when it is time to make your insurance claims.
Step four: Discard the damaged stuff
The first thing to do is take note of the flood line of the house. This is how high the floodwater rose inside your home. You can usually see this by a line of dirt on the walls. You typically need to get rid of everything one foot above the flood line and below. An item must be trashed or dried out quickly if it has absorbed much water. You will not be able to salvage most of those items.
Things like carpets and carpet padding are hard to dry; they should be discarded. If you have trim made of natural wood, you can reuse them; otherwise, discard them. Remove the trim first, and then use a razor knife to remove the sheetrock one foot above the flood line.
If the insulation is wet, do not pull down on it, or you will have areas of uninsulated space at the top of your walls. Cut into the dry part of the insulation above the flood line and discard it.
Step five: Begin cleanup
You should have removed all the wet stuff inside the house and trashed the unusable items. But you will still have a lot of silt and debris on the hard surfaces inside the home. You first want to hose the entire floor to eliminate the mud and bacteria.
To completely rid the home of bacteria, spray an antibacterial solution around the house. Be careful when you do this; make sure you don’t cause more damage to the house and be sure the kids or pets are not present. You will want to wear goggles and other PPE for this step.
Step six: Ventilate and dehumidify your home
To dry out your home, you can use any of these methods. If the weather is warm and sunny, you may open your doors and windows to air the house. For better and quicker drying, rent a carpet-drying fan for around $300 or buy a couple of $10 box fans. If for some reason, you cannot open your windows, you will need a dehumidifier along with the fans.
Step seven: Check the level of dryness
To be considered dry, the wood in your home should have a maximum of 16% moisture. To verify the moisture content of the wood, you need a moisture meter. This step is important to prevent future mold growth in the house. To eliminate any mold in your home, you may want to use a mold prevention product.
Finally, it is important to follow each step in this process meticulously to protect your property and safety. But if you think you will have difficulties doing this restoration by yourself, it is best to contact a professional.