Hurricanes Wreak Havoc, Even After They're Gone
Hurricanes and other storms can wreak havoc on a neighborhood and many homes are mildly to severely water damaged after a major storm. Whether a tree crashed through your home, a window broke, or your roof just couldn't stand against the high-speed winds, water inside the home is always bad news. And not just for the carpets and upholstery.
A water-damaged home is a dangerous place to be and restoration needs to start immediately. We're here to help you get your home back into a livable condition as quickly as possible so your lives can get back on track after a big storm.
The Risks of a Water-Damaged Home
Please be careful re-entering your home after the storm. A water-damaged home has three very serious risks that should be taken into account before anyone steps foot through the front door, just to make sure you are safe.
- Homes with still-wet surfaces or, worse, inches of water on the floor are highly dangerous. Your electrical system might be damaged and even turning off the power can be dangerous in a drenched home.
Wear dry rubber gloves and turn off the power as your first priority. If you see sparks or cannot insulate yourself from the circuits and the water, call a professional first.
- Wet homes and storm-damaged homes are far more likely to see a family member slip and fall while working on recovering items and repairing the damage.
Wear sturdy shoes and move very carefully through a water-damaged home.
Immediate Toxic Mold Growth
- Mold spores can take root before the storm is even over and concentrated spores can be toxic.
Cover your mouth and nose when you re-enter the home with medical masks or bandanas just in case the invisible spores are already thick in the air.
Top Priorities to Recover Your Home from Water Damage
When you re-enter your home, the best way to save your home is to take things step-by-step. Take care of your own safety, then methodically remove the water from your home, dry it out, and begin working on the mold and restoration project.
Your first priority should always be the safety of yourself, your family, and anyone else helping. Wear protective clothing, keep your feet dry if possible, and don't breathe without nose and mouth protection. Be careful wading through water if you can't see the floor, as there might be debris or even wildlife hiding under a murky surface.
In addition, don't use, eat, or eat from anything in the home until it has been cleaned. Water damage can cause contamination that is hard to see or smell with just your senses and there is a high risk of getting sick if you are not careful.
Remove Flood Waters
If your home has inches of water on the floor, you may need a pump to direct the waters away from where it has pooled. A pump and a long hose are often necessary when rescuing a house from severe storm-caused water damage unless the home has fully drained on its own. Be sure to check every single room, as not all rooms will have the same draining profile. If you have a basement or lower region without a floor drain, this is the most likely area to have dangerously pooled water.
Begin Drying Immediately
Even while you are still working on pooled water, you need to think about drying your home and everything in it. Anything that is removable may dry more easily if brought out into the sunshine. Fabric can be hung to dry, furniture can be set in the sun to dry.
Once there is no longer pooled on your floor, large fans are the next stage for helping your home to dry out as quickly as possible. Create maximum airflow, channeling air out of the home by opening all the doors and windows and pointing fan strategically. Use fans to channel air from 'dead-end' rooms out through the doors. If it is safe, run your AC on fan-only. You may also want to bring in dehumidifiers to concentrate the moisture hanging in the air into tanks that can be dumped down drains.
Mold Prevention and Remediation
Your next highest priority after drying the home is addressing mold. In fact, drying your home very quickly is one of the best things you can do to stop mold from spreading any further. Mold spores are always in the air, and they will settle and start new colonies on any wet, porous surface. This makes a water-damaged home a wonderland for mold in all sorts of hidden places, from your carpet padding to the inside of upholstered furniture to your walls and ceiling.
Once the home is dry, you'll likely need to hunt down any mold that did take root and eradicate it with mold remediation. Otherwise, the concentrated spores can make the family sick, eat any once-soaked materials, and make your home smell constantly sour.
Restoration of Damaged Areas
The final stage is to restore, replace, or rebuild anything that was badly water-damaged. Most of the time, the structure of a home survives water damage from a storm, but you may still need remodeling from physical storm damage and any truly soaked items may need to be replaced, like the carpets.
The Importance of Immediate Mold Management
Mold remediation is one of the most important aspects of recovering your home from storm water damage. A mold-infestation is bad for the house, bad for family health, and bad for your lifestyle. And we don't say that lightly.
Mold likes to grow on the backside of water damaged drywall panels and inside or underneath water damaged furniture. It likes wood and fabric most of all, but will grow on anything damp enough. Mold will eat through wood and fabric, slowly replacing the material with mold-mass.
Mold constantly exudes spores which are toxic to humans, especially in high concentrations, and which are constantly looking for new places to start new colonies. Therefore, the longer your home is damp, the more colonies will take root in damp surfaces. And you'll need to get rid of any mold that did take hold before the home is safe to live in again.