The Woodlands and Conroe Home Care: Top 10 “Must Do’s” Now That Floodwaters Are Gone
The Houston metropolitan has been hit hard recently with widespread and devastating floods. The significant amount of damage to property has yet to be fully determined. As our community continues to clean up and rebuild, it is vital to take every possible precaution to prevent mold, acting quickly to restore our properties after the damage caused by recent spring and summer storms. As a property owner, your local Houston SERVPRO team stands at the ready to assist throughout the cleaning, restoration, and rebuilding process. However, if you elect to take the project on by yourself, here are the 10 things you must do now to prevent mold and restore your property to its pre-flood condition:
- Water Extraction. The first step after a floodwaters ravage your property is obviously to extract the water. Be aware that floodwaters in the Houston area often contain potential hazards, including frightened wildlife, chemicals, sewage, and sharp debris. Prior to wading into your home to begin the water extraction process, be sure to wear protective clothing, footwear, and eye protection. Also, always remember to only operate generators outdoors to run pumps.
- Photos/Videos. Hopefully you were advised by your insurance company to take photos and videos of the damage throughout the flood damage restorationprocess. Once the water has been extracted, take photos and videos once again, prior to moving on to the next steps.
- Removal of Saturated Furnishings and Personal Belongings. This is one of the most emotionally challenging tasks for Houston property owners during water damage restoration. Depending on the depth of the water, the amount and type of contaminants in the water, and the length of time items were saturated, some personal items may have to be disposed of. However, in some cases, furniture, fine art, clothing, and even photographs may be saved using best industry practices. Consult with your locally owned and operated SERVPRO of The Woodlands and Conroe for details.
- Flood-Cut Drywall. Saturated drywall will have to be removed. It is recommended that you cut and remove drywall and insulation a minimum of 6 inches above the flood line.
- Flooring Evaluation/Removal. Again, the length of time floodwaters have been standing in your property will determine how flooring needs to be handled. Often, it will have to be removed and not just cleaned. Carpet cleaning after a flood is typically not recommended.
- Cleaning/Disinfecting. To prevent mold infestations,it is imperative that all areas touched by floodwaters be cleaned and disinfected with a solution that includes bleach. Floodwaters carry various contaminants and bacteria that need to be killed prior to moving onto the next step.
- Drying. To prevent mold infestations, all surfaces that were cleaned and disinfected, including structural elements like subfloors and support beams, must be thoroughly dried prior to rebuilding. In our climate, mold can begin to develop in as little as 48 hours.
- Dehumidifying. This is a vital step, along with the cleaning and drying process, to help prevent future mold growth. Prior to beginning the rebuilding process, it is recommended that commercial dehumidifiers are used to bring the humidity levels in the home back to normal levels. Do not rush this step, as it can cause significant problems in the future.
- Rebuilding. While rebuilding may take longer than all of the other steps combined, it is often the most satisfying. This is the time to make any changes to your property you desire. This may include moving walls, changing design aesthetics, or altering other elements to make your property just as you desire.
- Landscaping/Preventative Measures. Now is also the time to evaluate, plan, and implement any changes to your landscaping or property’s structure that could help prevent future flood damage to your Houston area home. To keep your property dry next time around, consult your contractor, landscaping architect, and structural engineers for input on the best strategies moving forward.
Preventing mold after a storm floods your property must be a top concern. It is imperative that you act fast to help ensure damage is minimized. The longer the floodwaters remain in your home, the greater the risk for significant structural damage and serious mold infestations. Your locally owned and operated Houston SERVPRO team has the training, expertise, and equipment necessary to quickly get your property back into pre-storm condition. Call on us anytime; we are available 24 hours a day to serve our community.
About The Woodlands-Conroe SERVPRO
SERVPRO of The Woodlands-Conroe is Faster to Any Size Disaster, helping residential and commercial property owners when natural disasters, water damage, sewage backups, floods, fires, mold infestations, and other events happen. In addition to The Woodlands-Conroe, we also proudly serve surrounding communities.