As a homeowner, there are a few thing things that can cause you a lot of distress and damage a lot of your property, and floods are one of them.
What can cause floods?
- Heavy continuous rainfall.
- Burst pipes causing the draining of lots of water indoors.
- Sewer back-up.
- Rising water table causing water to settle on the ground floor.
- Overflowing sinks and bathtubs.
Before you begin any flood repair in your home, first consult your insurance company about all the available dry options you are allowed to use without invalidation your insurance claim.
In this post, we are going to provide you with a comprehensive guide on a recommendation on how dry your home after floods. This guide is provided by our elite group of water damage and restoration experts.
1. Stay safe!
In any flooding incident, the safety of anyone in the house should always be the first priority. If the flooding is increasing you may have to temporarily leave your home. Turning off power should be the very first measure you implement – it goes with saying water and electricity can be a lethal combination. We don’t want anyone getting electrocuted. Wear protective rubber boots and gloves as you enter the house so as to shut down the power at the main switchboard.
If the flooding is caused by a burst pipe or overflowing sink turn off the water and the main supply gauge. If the flood gets into contact with any food – it should be thrown away, while all silverware and glasses used to be washed thoroughly.
2. Pump the water out.
Once you are sure the source of the water has been stopped or install a sump pump to stop the rising water from coming into the home’s basement, crawlspace, garage, and floor. This will help stop the flooding.
When the flooding is caused by a burst pipe, once you turn off the water fix the plumbing as soon as possible. When the floods are caused by rainfall wait till the storm subsides to start removing the water.
Depending on the level of flooding and the number of rooms affected, you can use a lot of different methods to remove water including :
- When you are lucky and the flooding is minimal then use a mop to clean the water.
- Using bins and buckets.
- Use a pump and a hose to drain – if their water level is high, especially if underground spaces like basements or crawl spaces are completely submerged by water.
- Use a wet vacuum to suck the water in carpets and furniture.
3. Damp assessment.
Once you clear all the standing water on the floors, everything in the house will still be damp and wet. You can use a thermal imaging camera to determine the moisture extent. You can use air conditioning and a portable fan to help dry the moisture.
Invest in a dehumidifier – while using a fan to increase air circulation in the house aiding in drying, it is not as effective as using a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier is an electrical appliance that removes excess moisture from the air.
Once the air is processed by a dehumidifier it will be warmer and have a low humidity level as this air circulated in the rooms through the damp items. This will prompt moisture from these damp items into the air. This saturated air will then be pulled into the dehumidifier and the process will be repeated until the dampness is completely eradicated. This is the easiest way to minimize potential water damage.
A dehumidifier is also a must-have appliance for anyone living in damp wet climates or places that experience a lot of rainfall throughout the year. A dehumidifier will protect you from indoor mold and mildew growth and decrease the number of dust mites. This will make a home feel warmer, more comfortable, and reduce allergies and asthma attacks.
4. Stripping out.
While a dehumidifier could reduce the dampness, if the flood levels were high then you might have to remove extremely saturated insulation, parts of plasterboard(walls and ceilings), remove a wall to wall carpets or any other floor covering.
Remove any impervious materials that may be baring evaporation of moisture trapped in items, walls, or roofs. Remove anything you deem not cost-effective to dry. This ensures your home’s structure is easy to dry.
5. Disinfecting & Cleaning.
You should clean out and sanitize the area that is to be dried but came in contact with the floodwater. This is important especially if the floodwater was grey or black. Grey flood water is wastewater generated from domestic activities like showering or dishwashing, while black water is wastewater containing human waste or toilet discharge.
It is therefore important to spray a disinfectant on the space where the flood water was. To avoid people getting sick.
6. Drying your space.
During the first week after flooding, it is important you be very proactive in drying out the flooded space. It does not matter the magnitude of the flooding, water can penetrate deep into the building structure and household items in a short amount of time.
To remove a lot of moisture fast you need high capacity refrigerated dehumidifiers with the continuous drainage option and low-temperature dehumidification. This dehumidifier should be combined with industrial fans to help in air circulation and increase dehumidifiers' effectiveness.
If the flooding occurred in a large size home – it is best to hire a water damage and restoration expert to provide you with the drying techniques for your needs. They will also provide you with exact measures of your dehumidification requirements.
7. Reconstruction and repairs.
Your insurer is responsible for any building work. After a flood, you might be required to repair the house plumbing, flooring, decoration, plastering, tiling, and electrical wiring. Most insurance policies will pay the full cost of repairs as long as the repairs don’t exceed the sum insured by the policy. If the cost of repairs is higher than the sum insured you will have to pay the additional sum.
If your flooding problem was caused by natural causes like too much rainfall it is important you consider improving the home’s resistance and resilience to any possible future flooding.