August 13, 2018

What To Do When Your Home Floods

And ways to get out of an impossible situation A flooded home can be one of the toughest situations to deal with. Hopefully this doesn’t happen to you, but in a scenario where your home gets caught in another major flood, like from Hurricane Harvey, you need to know what to do. Recovering from it and restoring your home can mean thousands of dollars in restoration, replacing items lost, and months of an uninhabitable house. So what can you do to minimize the negative impact of a flooded home and what are some other options should you be in the worst case scenario? That’s what we’re going to tackle here.

First things to do when your home takes in water

The number one most important thing to remember if water enters your house is to be careful about actually touching it. It’s never fully clear when electricity is off in a home during a flood, so if water gets in contact with electricity it can pose as a major danger. If you’re able, one thing you can do it attempt to switch off breakers so that you can decrease the risk of shock. Ideally, you’d want to take care of this as soon as it becomes apparent that water might be entering the home. Most of the time, when a flood is looming, the water comes in fairly slowly, so there’s enough time to start taking care of the most important things. The second thing to do is start moving as many absolute necessities as possible into higher ground, like taller furniture, a second floor, or an attic if needed. You want to preserve as much as you can. If you’re taking on that much water, you’ll need to account for multiple days of blackout and possible water inside the home.

Next steps after the water recedes

Once the water has receded, the first step is to start drying everything and removing as much moisture as possible. In the case of a flood, it’ll be tough to get someone out there to help with removing the moisture, but it’s important to at least start removing everything in the home that can retain water. This would include anything cloth like clothing or linens, rugs, couches, and other things that might hold water in. Next, you want to start airing out the interior as much as possible. If you have fans, whether they’re on the ceiling or portable, and you have electricity, it’s time to start getting them going pointing at the walls. Also, it’s likely that the floors are already going to have to come out. Once you’re able to get a professional mold remediation company out to your location, they’re going to start recommending what you need to do as far as the floors and walls go. If it’s soon enough, they’ll be able to salvage some parts by removing moisture and preventing mold, but in other times it’s likely they’ll have to show you how far up the wall you need to start gutting.

What the repair and restoration looks like

Generally, when the water damage is assessed, there’s a water line on the walls that make a clear indication of how far the water got. Everything from the line down has to go. Yea, that means that the sheet rock needs to get ripped up (assuming it wasn’t saved), because if it stays then there will be mold that starts growing from that location. The sheet rock comes out, and the floors also come out. That prevents the material from retaining the water and letting it ride up. When the material comes out, then it needs to be double checked for moisture and you need to have a certified stating that it’s clear. After that, the repairs can begin — new sheet rock, wiring, and floors. Another air quality test must be done to ensure that there is still no moisture before and after the repairs. This is incredibly important for warranty and sales reasons. You want to be able to prove that the tests were made at two different points to ensure that you did things right.

Why you don’t want to leave the moisture in the home

Here’s what happens: As the water sits in the floors and walls, the home begins to heat up. With that, the moisture rises and can start infecting up the walls and frame of the house. When the moisture gets soaked into the wood frame, that’s essentially the beginning of the end. The wood expands and causes all sorts of deformities with the house. We have actually encountered a house that sat for 8 months after Harvey that had never been remediated. The result was that the side of the house was actually bowing out — brick was falling off the exterior of the home. When a house has gotten that bad, then the property can only be sold at land value. The structure itself has gotten bad enough that it must be torn down. As was the case with this particular house in Bellaire, the home could not be salvaged and, by law, it had to be torn down (demolition costs).

The quicker you act, the more you can save

The reality is, if you can react quickly to the water damage, you’re going to be able to save more of the house. Making the remediation a priority will help save as much material as possible, retain the value of the home, and keep the home from entering a worse situation. If, however, your Houston home has been flooded and you’ve not been able to take care of it for any reason, you can give us a call or fill out the homeowner’s form to receive a cash offer for your home. Yes, we will buy homes that have been flooded, and we are willing to pay CASH for it. We can definitely help you get out from under the burden of a flooded house. For more information on what kinds of homes we work with and what kind of situations we operate in, check out our homepage.

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