Flood is a widespread issue
As hurricanes decimate houses and leave thousands without theirs, it’s clear not everything is fixable. Indeed, of the 100,000 homes in Houston affected by Harvey, a large number will need rebuilding. Around 30 to 40,000 are destroyed. That leaves 60 to 70 thousand, of which many may be salvaged. Of course, flooding is a feature of home ownership all over and is usually nowhere near as serious as it is in Houston.
Not every flood is Biblical
If you are lucky enough to live further inland or living in another part of the country, you can still benefit from knowing when a flood is manageable and whether you can do anything about it. Flooding isn’t always the end of a housing unit. Housing can suffer a large amount of damage yet nevertheless serve as a functional residence again. Alternatively, you may identify a home as a reclamation project, yet seek assistance outright.
Be aware of water damage
In order to determine whether you are in one category or another, you must understand what water damage actually does to a house. If you arrive at your house and everything is underwater, your home isn’t necessarily gone for good. In fact, effective practices before and after flooding may spare a home in the long run. If your house is already in bad shape, it stands a worse chance of making it out all right.
Build on a solid foundation
If you are in the process of building a home, you are wise to consider the surface of your foundation. If the substance of the ground is subject to alteration in the course of various weather conditions, your home is probably more susceptible to issues with plumbing and beyond. It’s especially problematic if the area around your foundation expands or shrinks, as the house may move and the piping may be forced awry.
Check for structural damage
One way to identify structural damage is by attempting to open or close a given window or door. If your home suffered considerable upheaval, you may be unable to do so properly. In lesser cases, however, you may only need to discard a few pieces of furniture and a carpet or two. That said, replacing your furnishing may run you a few thousand dollars. If you suspect your drywall is in contact with enough of the water, the paper may get moldy and need replacing.
Two kinds of flood
We are, of course, dealing with more than one kind of water damage. On the one hand, flooding may issue from torrential downpour as in a hurricane. On the other hand, the water may arise from a leak in your plumbing. Be sure to shut down all electrical outlets and outstanding appliances. Electricity is far more dangerous to your immediate well-being than an imminent case of mold. Once the electricity is off, be sure to shut off any remaining water.
Elevate your damp furniture
If you are indeed managing a bunch of wet furniture, move it upstairs if you have a second level. If you have no space, contact a storage company for removal. If the water damage is severe, you won’t be able to store it because it will be a source of mildew or mold. Ultimately, virtually all the measures you are able to take yourself will almost certainly only serve as a stopgap until you acquire professional assistance.
Seek a consultation
Even if you’re not certain of the extent of the damage, go about seeking a consultation for a better idea of what you’re up against. In the event you’re containing a leak, you are much better off knowing it is resolved for good––until the next one––than if you rely on a makeshift resolution. A professional consultation will also inform you as to which of your furniture and other items are safe and which have to be disposed of.
Document any changes
While you are moving everything around, make a note of the changes. Documenting all of your belongings will give your flood professional a better idea of where everything is supposed to be, as well as provide clarity if you intend on sending a claim to an insurance company. If the damage is serious enough, you shouldn’t spend further time in your home than you have to. Illness may arise from the combination of water and exposure.
If the water is minimal, you may not need to seek any assistance. An effective dehumidifier will be an enormous aid in evaporation. They are particularly effective in a space with little or no airflow. However much time the flood took, cleaning it up will inevitably be a much longer process. Be thorough and refrain from using electronic appliances until you’re absolutely sure it is okay to do so. If you rush, you may sacrifice well-being down the line.