Recovering from flood damage
Water has the potential to cause serious damage to homes, businesses and the property they contain. Whether floods occur in isolated locations or on a larger scale, they create an abundance of safety risks and can lead to significant losses. However, effective flood restoration can help you to eliminate dangers posed by flooding and restore damaged property to a usable condition.
Effects of Flooding
Floods can be caused either by natural disasters or internal problems, such as faulty plumbing and malfunctioning appliances. Individual homes most commonly experience flood damage when there are leaks, drain overflows or burst pipes. Since this water can carry bacteria, human waste and other hazardous materials, the appropriate cleaning methods will depend on the source of the flooding and the extent of the damage. "Clear water" is considered safe, but typically becomes polluted once outside of its source line. "Gray water" (usually from overflow) and "black water" (carrying sewage or toxic substances) are contaminated and unsafe for contact, both developing foul odors as the quality deteriorates.
In addition to compromising the structure of your property, large-scale floods can easily distribute toxic water into individual homes, increasing the risk of disease. When water isn't removed, it also leads to the growth of mold and mildew and creates dangerous electrical hazards.
Flood Damage Restoration
Whether you undertake the restoration project yourself or hire professionals, it is important to identify the source of the flood immediately and wear appropriate safety clothing to reduce direct contact with affected items. You should also speak with an agent for flood insurance or mold insurance, as well as an inspector that can assess the damage and recommend safe and effective cleanup solutions.
Hiring a flood restoration company will relieve you of the cleaning burden. These companies generally offer a range of services, including flood debris removal, waste disposal and insurance documentation. In most cases, professional cleaners will use special HEPA-approved vacuums and other specialized cleaning tools to safely remove water and set up dehumidifiers to dry up excess moisture. Many businesses offer these vacuums for rental as well if you will be performing the cleanup on your own. Technologies such as thermal fogging and ozone generators can eliminate the odors left by contaminated water.
The longer the water stands, and the higher its level, the worse the damage to carpets, walls and floors. Parts of the property may require rebuilding or basic reinforcement, and if standing water has led to the growth of spores, mold remediation may also be necessary. Walls, floors, furniture and other material property should be cleaned and thoroughly disinfected. It is important to seek professional consultation when dealing with mold, as some types are extremely toxic and affect the air quality in your home.
The sooner you act, the more likely that you will able to salvage belongings and restore damaged areas of the property. The process of repairing flood damage is often lengthy and overwhelming, but with the right guidance your property and daily life can be restored.