How To Save A Flooded House: Preliminary Steps
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How To Save A Flooded House: Preliminary Steps

A reader will learn the processes and procedures for saving a flooded house.

A flooded house is a relative term, ranging from a broken water pipe leaving an inch of water in the home to a full-blown flood from moving water that results in a home collapsing. The best and simplest manner in which to save a flooded house is to leave it to the professional water restoration companies, but since all homeowners do not possess adequate flood damage coverage, this may not be an affordable solution.

A homeowner who undertakes the project of saving their own flooded house must have a moderate amount of knowledge, with an eye for detail and a strong work ethic--and a large group of friends and family to help with the grunt work. Repairing a flooded house always needs to be addressed with a sense of urgency, not only because a homeowner requires a place to stay, but because mold grows rapidly in damp conditions and can quickly become a nightmare to combat.

Saving a flooded house starts with an honest and objective view of the damage, and a good game plan on how to attack it. All utilities need to be shut off prior to any individual entering the home in order to prevent any injuries from electrical issues or natural gas leaks. Once confirming that the building is structurally sound, all interior possessions affected by flood waters need to be removed to a staging area where they can be disinfected and dried. Upon the completion of that task, they can be taken to a storage facility temporarily to get them out of the way while repairs to the home are made.

In minor flooding, flooring such as carpets can be dried using a carpet extractor, shop vac and several well-placed fans. In severe flooding, carpets and carpet padding need to be removed in their entirety, and new flooring installed after other renovations are completed. After the removal of carpeting, wood sub-flooring may be dried, using fans most commonly, with an anti-germicide applied afterward to prevent mold spore growth. Bowed wood flooring can often be made flat again with the aid of a few well placed nails.

Wet and damaged drywall, insulation and wiring needs to be replaced in a flooded house.  A homeowner with limited skills is best served leaving electrical repairs to a professional for obvious reasons. Similarly, furnaces, hot water heaters and major appliances need close examination and assessment by trained professionals prior to being put back into service. Before any remodeling can begin, an homeowner needs to make absolutely certain that the home has had adequate time and means to dry completely. Only after the structure itself and all of the contents that are salvageable are disinfected and dry can the renovation process begin in earnest.

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