With Hurricane Irma apparently headed our way I have seen countless stories
and warnings on preparedness. Very good advice and I would highly suggest
you are prepared.
But what do you do in the unfortunate circumstance your home has water
damage due to flooding?
Hopefully you have protected all your important paperwork (insurance, wills,
birth certificates, deeds) as well as pictures and anything else that
cannot be replaced with money. Put these in zip lock bags and double wrap
them in poly bags. Maybe even take pictures of them along with important
phone numbers and policy numbers form your home owner’s insurance.
The goal here is to keep them dry and close by.
Water damage due to ground water or flooding is a Category 3 water loss.
Category 3 water in considered “black” water and anything
it touches should be removed and disposed of. This would include water
damage from rook leaks.
During a flood, the water will penetrate all porous material. Once penetrated
the porous material will absorb water and swell. As the water evaporates,
humidity in your home will increase which will cause non-affected areas
to develop mold growth and the need for mold removal and mold remediation.
To help prevent mold growth:
Remove all wet porous material from your home as soon as possible. This
would include carpeting/rugs, drywall, furniture, clothes, fabrics, anything
made of particle board (most cabinets vanity’s, tables, wall units
etc). Removing this will significantly reduce humidity in your home and
help prevent cross contamination and mold. Left I the home, this material
is ideal for mold growth and once started, mold will grow fast.
Chances are your wall studs, floor joists, even cement floor will still
have high moisture readings and must be properly dried to prevent potential
microbial growth. To dry the structure you should use high velocity air
movers and commercial dehumidifiers. The Restoration companies will be
backed up and may not be able to get to you right away. What can you do
until we can reach you? Use regular fans and an “open air”
drying method. This simply means that if the humidity outside is lower
than it is inside your home, open your doors and windows.
Using a pump sprayer, apply antimicrobial to your home. DO NOT use bleach,
this may clean the area but mold will come back. Bleach does not kill
mold on porous material.
Contact your insurance company to ensure you are covered and to what extent.
These are quick fixes that will work (and save you money) until you can
get a restoration company certified in water damage clean up and mold
removal to come out and finish the job. Restoration 1 of Horry County
can do that for you and make sure your home is properly dried and mold
free before you rebuild.