Floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States, and they’re one of the most expensive. In fact, the damage caused by these floods costs over three billion dollars each year.
Have you recently had a flood in your home? Are you still trying to repair your home and minimize the damage it caused?
If you’re currently dealing with a flooded home, these tips can help you get it back in shape.
What to do After a Flood
If the flood just barely happened, start by taking these steps to minimize the damage and get the issue sorted out as quickly as possible:
- Check for structural damage
- Turn off the water and all electrical sources
- Take pictures of the damage
- Wear waders or high, waterproof boots when walking through the water
- Throw out food that may have come in contact with the flood water
- Call your insurance company and alert your landlord if you’re renting (if you have flood insurance, you can get more information here on reporting the issue to your landlord)
- Learn whether you’re located in a government-declared “disaster area”
- Start removing water when you get the go-ahead from your insurance agency
- Secure the area to prevent injuries
It’s also important to minimize mold damage by removing wet objects and either discarding them or laying them out to dry. Clean surfaces with a 10 percent bleach solution, too, to cut down on potential mold growth.
Repairing and Redecorating a Flooded Home
Once you’ve taken care of the most pressing flood repair aspects, it’s time to work on restoring your house to its former glory. Start with these seven repair and redecorating tips:
1. Check for Mold
One of the first things you ought to do when you begin the repair process is to check for mold. Left alone, mold could cause a lot of damage and might seriously affect your health and the health of your family members.
Before you make any changes, have an inspector come in and check for the presence of mold. That way, you can take steps to remove it before you invest in any costly repairs.
2. Choose Your Upgrades Carefully
It might be tempting to update everything after the flood. After all, you now have something of a blank slate with which to work.
Even if your insurance company is going to cover the cost of the repairs, there’s a good chance that you’re still going to need to be somewhat frugal.
Evaluate all your belongings and prioritize them carefully. Start with what must absolutely be replaced, not just what you would like to see updated.
3. Salvage What You Can
While you’re going through your belongings, figure out which of them can be salvaged.
Could your rugs still be functional if you had them professionally cleaned? Which furniture items are still in good shape, or could be good as new with a bit of sanding and repainting?
Once you’ve found the items you want to try to salvage, it’s important to move them to a separate location where they can dry out all the way. Don’t start trying to restore anything until it’s totally dry.
4. Replace the Damaged Flooring
It’s almost a guarantee that you will need to replace your flooring and carpeting after a flood.
Be sure to rip up the damaged flooring, as well as the subfloor below it. When you’re pulling up carpet, remember to pull up the underpad along with it.
Even if you have tile floors, you’ll likely still need to replace them. The tile itself will not absorb water. But, the wood substrate below it won’t dry out completely if the tile is left on top.
You’ll have to pull it up to prevent mold and mildew growth.
5. Open Up the Walls and Let Them Dry
You’re also going to need up open up your walls and let them dry out all the way.
This involves removing the drywall at least a foot above the waterline and down to the floor. Your contractor will also need to remove the insulation to prevent mold and mildew growth.
6. Consider Starting from Scratch in the Basement
Depending on the severity of the flood, the best approach for your basement might be just to tear it out all the way to the foundation walls and start from scratch with a total renovation.
This can actually be cheaper than trying to salvage what’s left.
When you rebuild the basement, you might want to use mold-resistant drywall and insulation to minimize the damage caused by future floods.
7. Do Some Digging to Find Freebies
When it comes to redecorating, you’re probably going to want to be as frugal as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to scour online classified ads and social media pages to find free or discounted items.
Thrift stores and consignment shops are great places to visit, too, especially if you’re in the market for unique, one-of-a-kind items.
How to Prevent Future Flood Damage
Once you’ve invested time and money to repair the damage caused by the flood, you’re probably going to want to do whatever you can to minimize flood damage in the future.
- Move your valuables to high locations
- Elevate your appliances
- Relocate hazardous materials to high locations
- Inspect your drains and sump pump on a regular basis
- Keep sandbags on hand to divert water away from the foundation of your home
You might not be able to fully prevent another flood, but you can minimize the damage future floods cause to your home by following these steps.
Need More Help Updating Your Home?
These seven tips should be more than enough to get you started as you work on repairing your flooded home.
Are you interested in learning more about redecorating, though? If so, we’ve got tons of articles to help you fix up your house and make it look better than before.
Even if you don’t have a huge redecorating budget, we can still help with our DIY articles. Start by checking out this article on DIY coffee tables!