If you're like most homeowners, you undoubtedly already know that flood damage can be a devastating consequence of severe weather events — even if you haven't experienced it yourself, you likely have seen the aftermath of serious storms on internet sources and the nightly news — and perhaps you even know someone personally who has experienced substantial damage as the result of a storm.
From ruined belongings to structural damage, the effects of flooding can be long-lasting and difficult to repair. Here's what you need to know about cleanup and restoration after a storm:
Assess the Damage
Before beginning any cleanup efforts, it's important to assess the extent of the damage. Take photos of the damage for insurance purposes, and make a list of items that have been damaged or destroyed. Check the structural integrity of your home to ensure that it is safe to enter.
The first step in flood damage cleanup is to remove any standing water. If the flooding is severe, it may be necessary to use a pump or wet-dry vacuum to remove the water. Be sure to wear protective clothing, including gloves and boots, when working in standing water — however, never do this if there are downed power lines or other signs that the electrical infrastructure has been damaged.
Dry Out the Area
After the water has been removed, it's important to dry out the area to prevent mold and mildew growth. Open windows and doors to allow for ventilation, and use fans and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process. Remove any wet carpeting or furniture and place them outside to dry.
Clean and Disinfect
Once the area is dry, it's important to clean and disinfect all surfaces that have come into contact with flood water. Use a solution of bleach and water to disinfect hard surfaces and wash all soft surfaces, such as clothing and bedding, in hot water.
Repair Structural Damage
If your home has sustained structural damage as a result of the flood, it's important to repair it as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Hire a professional contractor to assess the damage and make the necessary repairs.
Prevent Future Flood Damage
To prevent future flood damage, consider making changes to your home or property. Install a sump pump in your basement to prevent water from accumulating, elevate appliances and electrical systems above the flood level, and consider landscaping changes that will help divert water away from your home.
For more information, contact a storm damage restoration contractor near you.