Separating Good Materials From Bad After A Flood And How to Start Repairs
One you have suffered the unimaginable and your home is flooded or severely damaged by water, you need to know what materials to dispose of immediately. Generally, the simplest way to determine this is washing – anything you cannot wash and properly disinfect should immediately be tossed. This list deals with home construction materials and not with your personal belongings.
It is worth noting that if your home was flooded by relatively clean water, it is safer to handle the flooded items, but if you suspect the water was contaminated by any chemicals, pollutants, or sewage, you should contact a local restoration company immediately, if only for advice and consultation. Furthermore, refrain from using fans, dehumidifiers, and pumps until you are sure the water is relatively sanitary. This is to avoid spreading possible pollutants more than necessary. Water damage in your home should always be dealt with as quickly as possible, in order to avoid allowing any more mold growth than necessary. Always use caution in areas that have experienced flood or water damage.
The majority of what you will need to remove from a water or flood damaged building is its building materials. The things that you need to remove are somewhat dependent on the amount of water damage they have received.
- Ceiling tiles should immediately be removed and discarded if they were immersed. Only if there was a very minor water leak affecting a particular tile should it be dried and possibly reused.
- HVAC ductwork that has been covered in water should be removed and steam cleaned if they are made of sheet metal. If they are the flexible duct materials and have been immersed, it is advisable to remove and replace them entirely.
- Moving lower, check the drywall and general wall coverings in the area. If there are absolutely no signs of swelling and sagging, some drywall might be salvageable but in general much of it that has been exposed to water should be cut out and replaced. Sometimes mold will grow up to the line of water exposure in the room as a very visible indicator of where the water level rested.
- Insulation in the ceilings and the walls is often made from cellulose or fiberglass. If it is at all wet, it should be removed because insulation retains water and eventually molds. Sometimes it might be possible to properly dry off, but because of its nature, it is often easier to simply replace.
- Concrete and cinder blocks used in the walls and ceilings can normally be cleaned of all water stains and mold growth.
- Likewise, hard and non-porous surfaces like plastics and metal can be cleaned and restored. It is very important to ensure that anything kept after exposure to floodwaters be very properly cleaned.
- Sometimes carpet and the layers below it can be salvaged if it is ripped up and dried within two days of the initial flooding – this is because the water has not yet had a chance to completely ruin the material. If the floodwaters were contaminated, all carpet exposed should be removed for your personal health and safety.
- Wood floors and wooden furniture can sometimes be kept if it is dried out, but many times wooden fixtures are a total loss because of swelling and flexing. If you have wooden floors, you should attempt to remove boards every few feet in order to compensate for the swelling that has occurred. Ensure that you dispose of any wooden materials that you find mold on – it is extremely difficult to properly cleanse after flood damage.
If you have water or flood damage, call Restoration Local 24/7 at 1-888-443-3110 for a free estimate!