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Flood Damage Restoration Basics

Flood Damage Restoration Basics

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According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), "floods are the #1 most common natural disaster in the United States". The costs of flood damage for homeowners, both emotional and financial, can be severe. From 1999 to 2008, the NFIP paid over $27 billion to flood insurance customers in the U.S. Many homeowners will fortunately never endure the consequences of flood damage. But if a flood disaster does strike, both DIY tips and professional contracting assistance are available.

Flood Damage Control

Certain regions of the U.S. are more susceptible to seasonal flooding than others, but sudden storms or extreme weather could produce unpredictable flooding anywhere in the country. In other words, it's best to be prepared for a multitude of storm damage effects, such as flooding, no matter how unlikely. At minimum, homeowners should implement basic waterproofing measures in their home and check on their flood damage insurance policy.

If you are someone who has recently experienced flood damage to your home, it's best to act fast. Water damage can take a serious toll on homes and property. Left unattended, flood damage will only worsen as moisture continues to seep into and saturate various home areas and items.

DIY Flood Damage Cleanup Checklist

If your home was recently devastated by a flood, there are several quick actions you can take asap to salvage as much as possible. It's wise to start the flood cleanup process immediately.

  • Carpeting: To prevent mildew from setting in, carpeting should be dried as soon as possible following a flood. Rugs should be hung out to air dry, and indoor carpeting should be dried by opening all nearby windows, and training fans on wet areas. Once the carpeting is dry, it should be vacuumed to remove dirt and debris. The dry carpet can then be shampooed and dried again.

  • Cooking utensils: All cookware, pots, plates and receptacles should be washed and sterilized in hot, soapy water. Cookware or kitchen tools with multiple pieces should be separated, and each piece should be cleaned and dried individually.

  • Fabrics: Clothing, towels, blankets, sheets etc. should be brushed clean of surface dirt, rinsed or soaked to break up embedded rubbish, and then laundered and dried as usual.

  • Flooring: Flooring flood damage can lead to several structural problems and necessitate major remodeling efforts, so it should be addressed immediately after a flood. Floor tiles or subflooring can be very tricky to repair or replace without the help of a professional flooring contractor. If the subfloor is damaged or submerged, the surface floor layers need to be removed first to repair the subflooring. When subflooring remains wet or submerged, the adhesives will break down and the subfloor itself will warp and distort.

  • Furniture: Fully submerged upholstered furniture may be impossible to save post flood, but this depends on the level of saturation achieved and the condition of the furniture. First, remove furniture coverings and wash them in the same manner as sheets and fabrics. Throw away the furniture's interior cotton stuffing (this can be replaced with other materials). Disassemble furniture frames. Wipe down metal springs and frames and coat with a rust inhibitor. Lay wood frames outside to air dry before reassembling.

  • Mildew: Mildew is a type of mold that forms on wet or damp fabrics. To prevent or remove mold from growing on damp furniture, first use a broom or rough-whisked brush to scrape newly formed mildew off of furniture coverings. Afterwards, vacuum the furniture coverings to remove any dried mildew and/or dirt. If the fabric is non-washable, use a damp sponge with soapy water to wet and sponge off some additional dirt and stains. Dry all wet areas with a fan.

  • Odor: Use hot soapy water, a water-chlorine solution, and household disinfectants to scrub all interior home surfaces that were affected by the flooding.

  • Papers: Books and papers should be separated by individual pages and/or hung up to air-dry until they're only partially damp. If books or pages are extremely wet or soaked through, a clothing iron may be used on a low setting to dry papers and to keep their shape. Books with damp pages should be alternately left open for additional drying, and then closed so that pages can maintain their shape.

Professional Flood Damage Services

If the lower levels of your home were or still are submerged, or the overall flood damage is too great to clean up yourself, professional flood restoration contractors can help you and your family restore the state of your home quickly and effectively. The type of flood damage services you and your family choose will rely on the extent and type of flood damage that has occurred.

Some of the most common flood damage services include:

  • Water Extraction and Cleanup
  • Sewage Extraction and Cleanup
  • Basement and Crawl Space Cleanup
  • Carpet Installation and Replacement
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Structural Drying
  • Thermal Imaging Inspections
  • Mold Removal and Remediation
  • Dehumidification
  • Complete Disinfection and Sanitization

Additional contracting services that may be needed following flood damage include:

Fighting Back Against Flood Damage

One of the best ways to start your flood damage restoration efforts is to consult with licensed home contractors who are appropriately experienced in flood damage repair. Only top contracting professionals in your area will be able to properly assess the extent of your flood damage, take immediate steps toward effective flood containment and clean-up, and map out a plan for your full-scale flood restoration and repair project right away.

Even if your home has not been hit by a flood, you can still implement home waterproofing measures to protect your family against future flood risk. Waterproofing contractors can be of great assistance in both waterproofing and flood restoration projects.

By scheduling your first appointment with a waterproofing or flood damage professional in your area, through Signature Contractors, you may even receive 1-3 free project estimates to get you started!

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