Flooding and severe weather goes with the territory in Florida, especially during the summer months, and floods can destroy homes and businesses. Many times the initial steps taken in the aftermath of a major water damage event may be what determines how well the home is repaired and restored.
First off, the home’s structural integrity should be determined. Flood waters can literally shake a home to its very foundation, making it prone to collapse. All utilities, (electricity, water, and gas) should be shut off at the source, and protective clothing and safety gear should always be worn when working in and around flood waters.
One of the end results of flooding is the presence of mud, silt, and dirt in great amounts within the home. A shovel can be used to remove as much of these materials as possible. In some cases, you may be able to use a hose to remove mud and dirt from walls.
Any wooden or plastic kitchen utensils should be considered contaminated and thrown away, along with most baby toys and items. Upholstered items such as furniture and carpeting may or may not be salvageable, and prompt cleaning will be required if they are to be saved. Mattresses and carpeting will in most cases be total losses…it is far easier and less expensive to simply replace them.
Windows and doors should be opened in order to get air circulating and allowing the drying to begin. It may not seem like much, but drying at basically occurs as the result of the circulation of fresh air throughout the damaged area. The drying process may be aided by using as many high velocity fans, blowers, and dehumidifiers as you can find, placed throughout the home in order to move as much air as possible. Complete drying may take up to three to five days depending on the size of the water damaged area.
Loose valuables such as books, photos, documents, and other important possessions should be entrusted to professional restoration services that are trained to determine if the objects in question may be salvaged or if they should be thrown out and replaced.
The restoration process is a long and involved one, which means that in most cases a professional water damage restoration company should be hired. These professionals will have the equipment and experience needed to handle even the most severe flood damage scenarios.