Flooding occurs in many regions of the world. The recent flooding in Texas has reached historic highs. No matter where you’re from, you know exactly how harrowing and devastating it is when your home is flooded. However, it is a situation that won’t fix itself. Which is why we’ve put together a list of crucial steps to restore your home after flooding.
The prep work:
Ensure that it is safe for you to re-enter your home
- You may be anxious to return to your home and get started on the work you have ahead of you, but please do not re-enter the home until you know it is safe. Check with local authorities and news stations before returning.
Contact your insurance agent and take photos before you begin repairing the damage
- Upon re-entering your home, you need to document the damage that your home has incurred. Take photos of the home, inside and out. Afterwards, contact your insurance company and provide them with a thorough report.
Make sure that the power is off before you enter any areas of your home with standing water
- Before you enter any part of your home that has standing water you need to ensure that your electricity is turned off. If there are electronics that are submerged and turned on, you could be facing a perilous situation.
- Gather your friends, family, neighbors, volunteer aid, or professionals. You cannot manage this arduous task alone. It could take days, weeks, or even months to get your home back to a habitable state and you’ll need the support to get through it.
Buy protective gear
- Make sure you’re protected. You need to purchase gloves, rain boots, masks, and protective goggles before you start working.
Check to see if there are any existing holes or entry points for water
- The flooding may have caused holes or leaks. You’ll never get your home dry if water is still coming in.
The initial clean up:
Clear the water out of your home
- Use buckets, electric pumps, or other tools to remove standing water. If there are only small amounts of water you can try using blankets and towels to soak up the water.
Clean any mud or other debris
- Use gloved hands to pick up and throw away debris that has made its way into your home. Your best bet for clearing out mud is to shovel it. If there is still mud that persists use a hose to wash it away.
Throw away items that are damaged beyond repair
- This is a hard task. The last thing that you want to do after a disaster is part with your belongings. However, some items will be beyond repair and it isn’t worth your time to try and save them. If the following items were submerged for 24 hours throw them away: carpet, mattresses, comforters, pillows, books, and rugs.
Put the items you can save in storage
- To prevent further damage, move all of your furniture, clothing, electronics, and valuables to a climate controlled storage unit.Research local companies and move your belongings as soon as possible. 3 Men Movers has many affordable options for portable and self-storage at our Houston and San Antonio locations.
Make sure walls and ceilings are not holding water
- Ceilings that are holding water can be very dangerous. If you see a bulge in the ceiling after a flood it is most likely holding water. Plug a hole in the areas the ceiling is bulging and drain the water. You may also consider bringing in a professional. Wet walls can take an extensive amount of time to dry completely. It could be weeks or even months. You may have to remove layers of the walls in order for them to dry, or you may have to replace them altogether.
Dry the inside of your home and the belongings that can be salvaged
- The cooler and less moist the home is the more effectively you will be able to dry it. Open the windows, use fans, keep the home cool, and utilize dehumidifiers to dry out the inside of the home and the belongings that can be salvaged from the flood.
The final stages:
Clean out your refrigerator
- If your home was without power for over 4-6 hours throw away all perishable food in your refrigerator, food in a standard freezer usually lasts for 24 hours, and a deep freezer can keep food for about 48 hours.
Disinfect every surface of the home
- Floods are a breeding ground for bacteria, and it can be toxic for your family. You must thoroughly clean every single surface of your home. Use diluted Clorox or other powerful antibacterial products.
Have a professional assess the threat of mold
- It’s not imminent, but it is possible that you may have to deal with mold after a flood. It’s best to have a professional assess the damage and determine if you have or will have any mold complications.
The most important facet of cleaning your home after flooding is creating a safe environment to live in. Getting your belongings dry is only a small portion of cleaning after a flood. You also need to eliminate any bacteria, mold, and mildew. If you sense that the damage to your home is too extensive for you to handle, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional. The safety of your family is what’s truly important.