Cleaning up a home and restoring it to its original condition after flooding has occurred can be one of the most challenging projects there is when it comes to DIY and home ownership. In the beginning, time is the governing key factor in water damage restoration. Leaving water in a structure for more than a few hours can increase the damage and the amount of material that will need to be replaced. Removing damaged materials as soon as possible will also help reduce any further problems. The drying process should be started right away with fans and cross-ventilation. Heaters should not be used, as they can actually increase the humidity inside the home and cause the growth of mold and mildew.
After the soaked materials have been removed from the home, all surfaces should be washed won using a disinfectant. Clorox or other bleach should be used at a ratio of five parts water to one part bleach. This will help kill any mold or mildew that is growing and prevent future growth. Do not use bleach on fabrics, those materials are not salvageable after a flood and will need to be disposed of properly.
If you had fair warning before the storm and were able to tape your windows up, the tape should be removed as soon as possible. Leaving tape on the windows gives the adhesive time to be baked in the sun, causing it to be more difficult to remove from the windows. If the adhesive does not come off with regular glass cleaner, you can try nail polish remover, tar remover, acetone, or even a razor blade. In fact, professionals say taping the windows is not worth the effort due to the lack of protection it provides. Depending on the location of your windows and the type of flooding event, many of your windows may have been broken or otherwise been compromised. Be sure to check them carefully. In certain circumstances, window repair is possible, and in others replacement windows will be necessary.
Due to the danger and complexities associated with roof repair, it is best to consult a roofing specialist contracting company to help with any repairs or replacing your roof altogether. Hire a general contractor to inspect the roof after a flood. He can determine whether your roof can be repaired or needs to be replaced. Additional flooding and water damage can occur if the integrity of the roof is damaged, so it is best to get your roof checked out sooner than later.
When it comes to treating, removing, or replacing the existing housing envelope materials, follow the recommended procedures from organizations such as ASCR (Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration) or IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification). Although it may be tempting, punching holes in the walls to help with draining or drying is usually not effective, and can, in fact, be more damaging.
Once you have removed the damaged materials, it is wise to replace them with flood-damage-resistant materials, such as fiber cement and vinyl sidings. These materials are built to withstand flood conditions better than hardboard lap siding or plywood siding. A siding contractor can give you more information on which materials to choose from based on your location. It is also a good idea to replace trim and corner boards with plastic or a combination of wood and plastic composite. This option is generally more cost-effective than restoring the sawn wood trim, which requires thorough drying, re-nailing, crack filling, and repainting.
Cleaning up after a flood is never a fun job. However, following the right procedures and using the correct materials when repairing and restoring your home can help decrease any future problems or damage. If you are in need of help with home repairs or restorations, contact Metropolitan Contractors.