For some of us we watched and waited for the water to enter our homes; but others had to wait for the water to leave their homes to re-enter.
Such was the situation for many of us in Houston this week where some areas saw record breaking rainfall amounts. Anyone that has lived in Houston for any length of time knows we flood around here and dealing with flood waters comes with living on the gulf coast in one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.
So what do you do if you have experienced flooding in your home? The following are some frequently asked questions about what to do when your house floods.
What should I do first?
Once your house is safe to re-enter, document the damage with pictures and video before removing any drywall, carpet, furniture or any personal belongings. It is also important to take pictures to show how high the water got in your home to determine how to proceed with repairs.
Once you’ve documented the damages call your insurance company. They will give you instructions on how to proceed and schedule to have an adjuster meet you at the property to survey the damages.
Do I have to remove all the drywall and carpet?
Drywall should be removed just above the high water level on the exterior walls to remove the wet insulation. Interior walls do not usually have insulation and will dry out by cutting small holes in the drywall about 12” apart and set up a fan to circulate air.
All wet carpet and pad should be removed to allow the sub floor to dry.
What about Mold and Mildew?
Mold and mildew can begin growing within 24-48 hours; especially in warm humid weather. It is therefore very important to remove everything in the house that holds water and begin circulating air in the home to dry everything out. Turn on the air conditioner if it is still working. Dehumidifiers and portable fans work well too.
After allowing the house to dry completely you can treat all the affected areas and surfaces with a 10% solution of bleach. Do not use ammonia and NEVER mix ammonia and bleach together. The fumes can be toxic.
Texas Govenor Greg Abbott has declared 9 counties in southeast Texas as disaster areas which opens the door for those affected by the recent floods to receive federal assistance.
FEMA has opened a Disaster Recovery Center in Houston
For more information on Flood Insurance
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the recent floods. Please contact us if we can be of assistance to you.
Vortens Defective Toilet Update
We posted an alert back in February 2014 for homeowners of some defective toilets manufactured by Vortens. At the time we believed the problem only effected their toilets manufactured from 2011-2012 and were mostly located in Southeast Texas. Since then we have been contacted by people from all over the country with toilets manufactured as long ago as 2009 that have experienced flooded homes and buildings due to these defective toilets. The problem appears to begin with a crack in the porcelain tank that holds the water that finally breaks due to the water pressure inside the tank. The result is a catastrophic mess!
If you have had a toilet installed in your home since 2009 it would be wise to make sure it is not a Vortens toilet manufactured during this time. To do so, remove the lid on the tank to see if it is stamped “Vortens”. If it is you can contact Vortens directly to see if your toilet might be at risk or simply replace it with a different toilet by another manufacturer.
Vortens is still a major supplier of bathroom toilets and lavatories to the construction industry today and is aware of the problem. If you’ve experienced a problem with one of these toilets the company will need the following information for documentation:
1. Description of the defect
2. Photographs of the defect and the installed unit showing the problem (without uninstalling the unit)
3. Proof of Purchase and date of installation
4. Barcode of the defective unit (as shown on back of tank)
5. Photographs of the following components without uninstalling them:
Tank bolts (2) , metal washers (2), expansive rubber washers(2) bolts (2)
6. Photographs of the inside of the tank (showing complete tank).
7. Document with photographs the damages as a result of the defective unit.
Please feel free to contact us if we can be of assistance to you.