6 Ways Water Floods Damage Your Home
It is not pleasant when your house is transformed into a modern version of Noah’s Ark. If you are on the path of a raging river overflowing from its banks and you are forced to evacuate, this is not a happy event. Whether it’s three inches of water or one meter that enters your home, it can be seriously damaged in either case.
Unfortunately, water can leave its mark in several ways. Before you begin corrective action, take photos to document the damage and contact your insurance agent to determine what your policy covers. Then it is time to assess the damage to your property, which should be done by wearing rubber boots or ankle boots so that you are protected from toxic materials and not subject to electrical misfortunes. Damage may include some or all of the following:
1. Cracks in foundations caused by flooding
When the soil or clay absorbs water, it can do so unevenly, causing the concrete slab on which most homes rest to crack or lift. This displacement may cause cracks in the exterior walls, ruptures in the embedded pipes and / or a sagging roof.
If the water erodes the foundation from below and the house is poorly anchored, it may come off the foundation. If you have evacuated your home due to a major flood, it is best to wait for a structural assessment before returning, as it may not be safe.
2. Home flooding can break or block doors and windows
If the foundations of your home move, doors and windows could be affected. The frames may be distorted and the glass in your windows may break. Doors and windows that do not open are a sign that damage has occurred.
3. Problems with drywall after a flood
Water is an enemy of drywall, as it weakens walls and can fuel mold. You will need to replace your drywall if it is moldy, crumbled or soft. It also damages the insulation, because the insulating fibers and foams absorb and retain water. They too will need to be replaced, unless your home uses closed cell foam or other types of insulation that do not absorb liquids.
4. Furniture, fixtures and floors
Flood water is an unpleasant infusion that contains chemical toxins, sewage, mud and bacteria, as floods often disrupt sewer systems and other less than beneficial waste deposits.
Porous materials in your home can dry out, even if they have absorbed water. However, contaminants in the water can pose a threat to your health and that of your family. It is a good idea to get rid of items like upholstered furniture, carpets, mattresses and vinyl flooring, especially if they have been submerged for more than 24 hours. Properly cleaning these items will usually cost more than replacing them.
Your glass, plastic, concrete, hardwood and metal items should be usable after thorough cleaning. The sooner they are cleaned, disinfected and dried, the better.
Carpets and their upholstery are usually too wet with water to be cleaned properly, and laminate flooring generally peels and therefore needs to be replaced. Hardwood floors and tile floors, however, can be salvageable, although some effort is required.
For hardwood, you will need to remove some boards so that the others do not warp due to water absorption. Any tile should be cleaned and disinfected. However, you may need to remove both of these types in order to clean and ventilate the sub-floor.
5. Household appliances damaged by water floods
Electricity and water do not mix well, as you probably learned in elementary school. With any luck, you’ve had the opportunity to unplug all of your devices before the floodwaters rushed in. However, if your outlets, thermostats, ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, fuses, wiring systems, electric heaters or computers have been submerged, they will no doubt need to be replaced.
The insulation in your refrigerator and oven will absorb the water and become contaminated, so you will usually need to replace it. However, you may be able to recover your washer, dryer and microwave, but have them examined by a professional first.
6. Mold caused by water flooding of houses
As soon as the water gets wet, mold can grow. It usually appears within 24 to 48 hours of a flood and poses risks to people with breathing difficulties and allergies. Surfaces should be cleaned with a mixture of 10% bleach solution and ammonia-free detergent. Test their effectiveness on a small area before applying them abundantly. Never mix ammonia and bleach as the vapors will be toxic.
This list of potential damages may seem endless and even daunting, but you don’t have to do it all yourself. There are professional restoration companies specializing in restoring damaged houses to restore them to their former glory.
Contact us quickly, in order to be able to decontaminate them from flooding and water damage of all kinds in your home.