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.