Flood Damage Repair: Complete Checklist September 19, 2018 – Posted in: Blog
Flood damage to a home or business can be devastating and extremely costly. Restoring a flooded basement alone can already cost individuals and families $500-$10,000, depending on floor area. If the entire house has been flooded, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides a flood damage simulator which suggests that for 1-4 inches of water, flood damage repair can cost around $7,800. For 9-12 inches of water, it’s $18,930, and for 18 inches, prepare for $26,285!
Quick Actions for Flood Damage Restoration
The first 24 hours after flood invaded your home or property is very crucial in preventing further damage.
Once the water subsides, it’s time that you take immediate action.
Here are the most important home flood damage repair steps you should do:
- Document the damage.
Before you move, change or repair anything, take photos or a video of your damaged home.
This is very important especially if you are filing for an insurance claim.
Making repairs before documenting the extent of damage can potentially decrease the extent of your coverage.
- Stay safe.
If you need to leave your house during the flood, listen to authorities for information and special instructions before returning home, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Watch out for signs of severe structural damage before entering your home, such as warping or cracks on the foundation. Turn off electricity at the main breaker.
If you’re doing flood damage cleanup, wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
Flood Damage Repair: Step by Step Guide
Once you have secured everything, it’s time to initiate the water or storm damage repair process.
- Contact your flood insurance provider immediately.
If your home has been seriously damaged, you may need the help of a professional flood damage restoration company.
Your goal is to remove water and dry everything as soon as possible to prevent rotting, mold build-up and other problems.
- Assess the damage. Make a thorough inspection of your entire house.
Porous materials like wallboard and drywall act like a sponge and are very susceptible to water damage. Foam sheets of insulation should be hosed off and dried, furniture taken out to dry under the sun completely (otherwise, they may warp and crack), and floor coverings taken out as well.
Appliances need to be cleaned and dried, and taken to a professional technician before using.
- Initiate cleanup. For your safety, it is important to follow proper flood cleanup procedures.
First of all, wear protective clothing including a mask. Start by discarding items that have been greatly damaged.
Check if your running water is safe to use for cleaning.
Remove debris as well as water trapped in walls. Do not let garbage pile up as it can cause contamination to your family and pets. For mold problems, it is better to contact remediation specialists.
- For repair work that involves knocking down a wall, sealing cracks, replacing floors, and the like, leave it to the pros.
Best Tools and Practices for Flood Damage Cleanup
As mentioned earlier, your priority is to dry out your property. Time is of the essence.
You want your property to be thoroughly dried within 48-72 hours after the flood waters subside.
Check out the following best tools and practices to facilitate flood damage cleanup easily:
- Assess flood water category. The first thing you need to do is to assess the type of flood water that has invaded your property. There are three flood water categories: grey, black and clean water.
The level of toxicity present in the water greatly affects the mitigation efforts you should employ.
Black water has serious health risks and is best addressed by the professionals.
- Use air movers and dehumidifiers. To speed up the drying process particularly within your home, there are tools and devices that can help increase air circulation and draw out moisture from various surfaces.
Among them are air movers which work by blowing large amount of air at high speeds. They can be directed to a specific direction (to the ceiling, wall, or down the floor).
Air movers are very efficient as they use minimal power. They are portable too.
Another helpful device is the dehumidifier. A flooded home has high humidity levels due to excessive moisture. Reducing the humidity speeds up the drying process.
- Clean all affected areas once everything is dry. Generally, the cleaning supplies you have at home should suffice.
But for molds, you may need specialized cleaning products. Contact a mold remediation professional if you are unsure about how to clean mold.
- Apply mold prevention solutions. One of the greatest consequences of water damage is mold build-up.
The trick is to reduce moisture as soon as possible. You must also inspect your property for any possible sources of leaks and have them fixed immediately.
More Flood Prevention Tips
Flood damage is a serious issue that any homeowner can face. Even if you are living in a low-risk area for flooding, your home still faces some danger against water damage.
It would be beneficial for you and your family if you take important measures to flood-proof your property.
For example, if you live in a flood-prone area, consider elevating your home.
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, electrical systems such as sockets, switches and circuit breakers should be installed at least a foot above the expected flood level in your area.
And as water rises, take last-minute measures like moving furniture, appliances and other items to upper floors, and shut off electricity at the breaker panel.
By following this guide, you can greatly reduce the potential damage of flood in your home.