How Do You Deal With Flood Damage For Uninsured Losses
Unfortunately, flooding does happen around this region and throughout the world. We witnessed this year massive flooding throughout Houston, Texas and then a massive hurricane made land in Florida. In these situations, many homeowners are left with nothing. What do you do in cases where you don’t have enough insurance to cover all of the damages? Here are some recommendations of what to do in natural disaster flooding at your home.
What to do when the flood water rise
When a structure becomes flooded for more than a day the water will often contain silt and other contaminants that infiltrated your home. These pollutants can cause mold and many other illnesses. The first step is to evacuate the home. Before you reenter a heavily water damaged home, open windows and doors and air out thoroughly. Ventilation in your home is key during the restoration process. Proper ventilation will reduce the danger of inhaling a dangerous pathogen that can cause serious illness. Another key to restoring your home is hiring a professional restoration company that will remove the damaged materials and properly dries your home out before rebuilding.
Things to consider when you enter the home
- Wear protective gear on your hands, head, body and especially over your face. You don’t know what is in the air, a good respirator will block any black mold, in the air.
- Wear steel toe boots or rubber boots with steel toe if there is significant water still present.
- Have your building checked by a structural engineer to make sure it is safe to live
- Ensure that there are no electrical hazards present. Consult a licensed electrician to ensure the electric to the house is off and there are no shorts.
Things to consider if you are doing it yourself
- Remove quantities of debris first like vegetation, silt, and any other debris with shovels, rakes, etc..
- Remove and dispose of sheetrock and/or paneling that has been damaged. When you remove this, make sure you remove at least 20” above the water line.
- Remove all insulation materials in your home that have been water damaged. Again, remove all insulation at least 20” above the high water line. Leave only materials that are completely dry and have not had any contact with water from the flood.
- Remove all carpeting, wood flooring, felt, sheet vinyl or laminate floor materials. Porous materials may absorb a large quantity of water and trap that moisture in your home resulting in mold. If you have solid wood flooring, you will need to remove that too. Water can collect in the hollow areas under the flooring, thus resulting in mold and wood rot.
- Wet vacuum any excess water left in your home, then run a dehumidifier to a length of time before you start any new construction.
- Doing it yourself may save you some money when gutting your home, but often depending on the length of time the water has been in your home.
Nobody wants to go through a natural disaster, but we hope that the many people affected by the flood waters in Texas and Florida are able to get the proper help in getting their homes back to a livable state. Here is a link to the FEMA website where many questions can be answered in their FAQ section.