Iowa Flood Damage Cleanup and Restoration Professionals

IA Flood Damage Cleanup Contractor
How to Restore Properties Following Flood Damage Disasters
Worldwide flood season is lasts from July through August. As another flood season approaches, the property owner should have a basic understanding of their options should their property experience flood damage. Property is not always completely destroyed in a flood. Sometimes your home or business can be restored. Restoration of flood damaged property requires many steps which dry out building materials, remove contaminants, restore air quality and eliminate foul odors.

At first the home needs to be safe for occupancy of the cleanup crew. Check the power supply, gas and electricity service and devices. Also determine that the sewage system presents no health hazards as well. After the home is declared safe to enter, clear all debris resulting from the flood. When the space has been emptied, it will be time to access the damage done to the property. Keep a photo documentation of the damage and items discarded as a result of flood damage. This record will be needed if an insurance claim is filed.

The areas that need to be examined for damage are interior and exterior walls, ceilings, doors and windows. Examine appliances, tile floors, wood floors, sinks, toilets, tubs, hot water heaters and the home’s HVAC system. The inspection will look for signs of mud and silt accumulation, mold, standing water, swelling or buckling and separating adhesive bonds.

Interior walls made from wood paneling or villaboard may be salvaged if they have not been water logged. Use a hard bristled brush to wash them with detergent and rinse with clean cold water and then allow days to dry. Plasterboard and particleboard can be damaged, delaminated or waterlogged. Both will probably need to be discarded. Remove wallboard and insulation from the walls and discard. Remove any debris tapped in the walls, such as mud or silt. After the wall framing is exposed, drying can occur. No attempt at finishing (adding drywall) should occur prior to the wall framing falling below a 16 % moisture content ratio.

Exterior walls should be vented to allow for moisture to escape. Clear weep holes to allow brick facings to dry out. Exterior walls that have experienced delaminating should be removed and discarded. Crawl spaces and areas in between floors should be well ventilated to encourage drying.

Doors and framing made from wood will swell and then shrink and become distorted. They will probably need to be discarded. This may include kitchen cabinet doors. Discard the doors but keep the hardware; the hardware can be reused.

When you have stripped your home of all the damaged building materials, replace them with comparable materials. Appliances and HVAC system may be undamaged. If their electrical components were submerged in water they may need to be replaced.

After cleanup and replacing building materials has been completed, you may still smell a foul odor caused by the mildew. To eliminate the mildew and its odor, you can take several basic steps. Wipe down hard surfaces with 1 part bleach and 3 parts water. Use a spray bottle to reach into corners and crevices. If odors still persist, white vinegar diluted with water will absorb odors if allowed to sit overnight in a shallow bowl. Distribute bowls liberally throughout the room with the mildew smell.

Cleanup after a flood is time consuming. The rooms must be given days to become dry enough to refinish. The remaining work is a repeat of the initial work that made your home habitable in the first place. Its hard work, but it’s worth it. After all, there’s no place like home.

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