Rising Waters: How to Protect Your Home After a Flood
In 1900, a Galveston focused hurricane and related storm surge, resulted in 8,000 fatalities and more than $602 million in damages. According to records, this was the most destructive and deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
While catastrophic disasters and floods like this are rare, there are other flooding incidents that can seem devesting to homeowners. Regardless of if your home is flooded by a natural disaster (like the one mentioned above), a burst pipe, or another entity, there’s one thing that’s clear, you need to act fast.
When it comes to your home and rising water, you don’t have time to wait. Each day or even hour you put off taking action can lead to more issues and more damage.
If you need to know what to do after a flood, and how you can help save your home, use the tips and information found here.
Check for the Presence of Any Other Risks
Flood water alone is a huge risk; however, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, you also need to check for signs of structural damage, cracked foundation elements, holes, and check with the utility company before entering the structure.
It’s also important to have a quality flashlight on hand and turn off all electrical and water sources inside your home. Even in cases where the power isn’t turned on, you should go to your home’s fuse box and turn the main breaker off. Be sure to turn off the individual fuse connections, too. This ensures if the power does come back on, you aren’t standing in electricity charged water.
Ventilate the Space
The longer moist air and water stay in your home after a flood, the more likely there will be significant damage to the structure, and there will be more health risks to you and your family. After just 48 hours of being flooded, mildew, fungus and mold can begin to grow. These all pose extremely serious health risks, and create a bad, musty odor. Also, water can begin to rot and warp wood, ruin virtually all types of insulation, compromise your electrical wiring, disintegrated wallboard and more.
During the day, when the weather is dry, you should open all of the doors and windows in your home. Make sure to close them each night when the humidity goes up.
It’s also a good idea to open any closet doors, and dresser or cabinet drawers. If you notice the drawers are difficult to open due to swelling, then remove the backs of your cabinets to help increase the airflow to these areas.
It’s smart to use window air conditioners, dehumidifiers and fans to dry out the air, too. Something you should avoid doing is turning on your heating system or air conditioner if the ducts or equipment was in water during any point when the home was flooded.
There are a number of restoration companies, such as restorationeze.com, that can help provide advice and guidance, and even assistance with ventilating a home or another structure after a flood occurs.
Mitigate Mold Damage
As mentioned above, mold can begin to form in as little as 24 to 48 hours. This means you need to act fast. In addition to ventilating the space, you also need to remove any wet contents. This includes bedding, carpeting, furniture and more. If an item has been wet for under 48 hours then you may be able to salvage it; however, you need to consider if it is worth the restoration cost.
After a flood, you may feel confused and overwhelmed. While this is normal, you also need to act fast to help prevent additional damage to your home and belongings.