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What To Do After A Flood

Flooding is often unpredictable. Flood waters strike fast and often recede quite quickly as well. Flood water is one of the primary causes of water damage to a home. However, before you start dealing with that, it’s important to arm yourself with necessary knowledge about what to do after a flood.

When flood waters recede, the damage left behind can be devastating and present many dangers. Images of flood destruction depict destroyed homes and buildings, damaged possessions, and decimated roadways. However, what you can’t see can be just as dangerous. Floodwaters often become contaminated with sewage or chemicals. Gas leaks and live power lines can be deadly, but are not obvious at first glance.

So today, we discuss tips from the National Weather Service concerning what should be done after flooding has receded.

Be Hungry For Information

  • Stay tuned to your local news for updated information on road conditions. Ensure water is safe to drink, cook or clean with after a flood. Oftentimes, a “boil water” order is put in place following a flood. So it is important to be aware if any such order is given out for your continued health.
  • Check with utility companies to find out when electricity or gas services may be restored.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms when areas are dealing with power outages. Never use a portable generator inside your home or garage. Review generator safety to avoid any incidents.

Avoid Flood Waters As Much As Possible

  • Standing water hides many dangers including toxins and chemicals. There may be debris under the water and the road surface may have been compromised.
  • If it is likely your home will flood, don’t wait to be ordered to leave; evacuate yourself! Make alternative plans for a place to stay. If you have pets, take them with you or make arrangements to board them at a facility well away from the flooding danger.

Keep Away From Disaster Areas

  • Do not visit disaster areas. Yes, even if your home is in one. Your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
  • Pay attention to road closure or other cautionary signs put in place for your safety. If you’re worried about your home, your safety comes first–it can wait.

Get A Hold Of Family Members

  • Let your family and close friends know that you’re okay so they can help spread the word. Register with or search the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well listings.

Wait For An “All Clear” Signal From Authorities

  • Do not enter a flood damaged home or building until you’re given the all clear by authorities.
  • If you choose to enter a flood damaged building, be extremely careful. Water can compromise the structural integrity and its foundation.
  • Make sure the electrical system has been turned off, otherwise contact the power company or a qualified electrician.
  • Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to discuss the damage done to your property.
  • If you have a home generator, be sure to follow proper safety procedures for use.

 

Saving Water Damaged Furniture

People tend to fill their homes with various things that bring them comfort. So it can be quite disheartening when water invades our homes. Whether it be from flooding, rain water, or a busted pipe, when water comes in it can wreak havoc on our belongings. When that happens, we’re left with the tricky task of discerning which water damaged furniture can still be saved.

Whenever you’re faced with this task, always base your decisions on: the extent of the damage, the cost of the item damaged, its sentimental worth, and how much it would cost to get restored professionally.

Wood

Wooden furniture can be salved pretty well. However, it will depend on how long its been soaked or submerged in water. Wood often expands when it’s saturated in liquid then shrinks when it dries. This can be pretty damaging for wooden closets or cabinets when the joints often don’t fit as well because of the warping or swelling.

When there isn’t as much warping, affected panels of wood can be replaced–you can choose to replace it or even just straighten it out. A common issue with wooden furniture that has been exposed to water is the buildup of moisture. This can eventually lead to mold or mildew growing, if it isn’t cleaned fast enough.

It is important to make sure that any wooden furniture is taken out and be allowed to air out. Never put it under the sun–this is a common misconception about what wood needs to dry. Exposing wet wood to sunlight or overly warm weather will warp the material and you may end up with wood that’s twisted or bent out of shape. When it’s done drying, treating it with disinfectant and cleaning solutions will help keep mold away.

Annoyingly, wood does not have to be fully exposed to water to develop damage. When wooden furniture is damp, it may develop little white spots on it. These white spots can be removed with a mixture of half a cup of ammonia and half a cup of water. Take a damp rag and dip it in the solution. Rub lightly against the wood grain. It is important that you wipe the areas dry immediately after application.

Fabrics and Plush

It can be quite disconcerting when plush material like the sofa cushion and throw pillows are subject to water damage. It goes double for fabrics like rugs and curtains.

The rule is that if it’s anything that’s absorbent and porous, it’s best to toss it if you’re not willing to have it sent out for professional deep cleaning. Rugs and carpets can be cleaned but it depends on the type of water its been exposed to. If it’s relatively clean water like water from pipes or a busted dishwasher, you can hang them out to dry.

If it’s been exposed to dirty water like sewer water or flood waters, it can be quite dangerous for your to clean that yourself. It’s best to send that out for professionals to work on or brace yourself and let it go.

Upholstery

If you’re truly attached to that couch or love seat, time is not your friend. Water damage upon upholstery only gets worse the longer the furniture is submerged or waterlogged.

It’s crucial to get started on its drying process as soon as you are able. If there’s extensive exposure to water, it’s time to get professionals involved in the piece’s restoration.

How To Fight Mold

Mold is one of the more unfortunate effects when water damage occurs in a home. When water damage occurs in a home and things aren’t cleaned out well, there’s a high probability of mold growing. Certain strains of mold can be quite dangerous and leaving it alone to grow can lead to health problems for the homeowners. So it’s best to get rid of it whenever you spot it. Today, we’ll be discussing how you, the everyday homeowner, can fight off mold.

First thing in fighting mold is understanding what it is. Mold is that fuzzy bacterial growth that can come in either gray or black. Mold needs a damp and moist environment to thrive. Moisture in homes are often caused by leaks or high humidity.

Use Bleach

Using bleach is a rather cost-effective way in dealing with mold. Most food markets, grocery markets, and hardware stores will carry different brands of bleach. Bleach is pretty effective on solid, non-porous surfaces. There’s a pretty high percentile of efficacy against most strains of mold. It may not be able to reach the roots of mold in porous surfaces like wood and cement.

Make sure that windows are open or there’s running air when you make use of bleach. The mixture is usually 1 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of water. Make sure to mix thoroughly. Use a spray bottle  and apply the mixture evenly to the areas affected by mold. Let it sit there for a while, allowing the solution to really do its job.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is always good at eliminating mold and bad odor. The good think about baking soda is that it’s relatively safe to use even if you have kids or pets in your home. Mix baking soda with water at a 50/50 ratio. If you’re dealing with a light mold stain or growth, stir until a paste is formed. Just apply the paste to the affected area and let it dry. When it’s a bit dry, make use of a brush and scrub away at the stained areas. Wipe away any mold debris or remaining paste.

Then mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda to 2 cups of water and place in a spray bottle. Spritz any area that was recently scrubbed. Let it dry. The nice thing about this is that there is no need to further rinse. For future use, you only need to reapply the water and baking soda mixture in the spray bottle and not the paste.

Hire a Good Cleaning Team

For a really deep clean, nothing beats a professional team. They’ll have the hands-on experience and equipment necessary to deal with mold infestations that’s hard to get or some which can’t be spotted by the naked eye.

This is particularly important when dealing with the more toxic breeds of mold that can live beneath walls or grow in basements and attics.


Mold infested homes may become an ideal breeding ground for pests and vermin. So it’s best to protect your loved ones and your investment by fighting mold as soon as it’s spotted. Make sure that there’s no sign of water damage in your home or address water damage issues as soon as they occur.

Water Damage: The Usual Suspects

When you have a home, the common ideal is to have it warm, cozy, and inviting. So when water comes in uninvited, it can be quite a disaster. Water damage happens when water beings to appear and pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. While there are several factors or reasons why water damage occurs, it is important to arm yourself with a basic know-how of potential causes. To empower our readers into understanding what water damage is and what the usual causes are, we’ll be listing a few of the common reasons we’ve come across.

Pipes that leak or burst

Pipes are an important part of our homes. They direct water where it should go and it is a fact of life that water can be corrosive over time or may have fluctuating pressure. It is understandable then that even the most trusty of pipes will show eventual damage. When drains get blocked, they create undue pressure in the pipes which can make them burst or leak–yes, even when pipes are new. Old pipes, however, are more prone to leaking as they maybe rusty or damaged.

Foundations/Crawl Space moisture

The areas that are used by builders or workers to put in piping or electrical wires, like your basement, attic, or craw space, are prone to moisture build up. These spaces are often left alone so water damage isn’t usually detected right away. When you have a centralized cooling or heating system, air may sometimes leak in these places which can turn even the most cleanest attic into an ideal place for mold.

Weather and Seasonal Causes

While homeowners may not be able to control how the weather or the season treats their home, it is important to understand that major water damage can come from this usual suspect. Flash floods, sudden storms, and hurricanes are all mothers of water buildup. Taking preventive measures in order to minimize potential issues is a service that is commonly provided by local service companies.

Appliances

When certain household appliances age, their pipes can begin to rust or crack and their hoses may also thin with time. The appliances that make use of water like fridges, washing machines, dish washers, and the like age, they are the most common causes of water damage in kitchens and service areas. If you have a hot water tank in your home, it is important to keep an eye on it and keep up with its maintenance to avoid any leaks or dripping from happening.

Sewage 

Arguably, the most unpleasant cause of water damage. When septic tanks (even when its one that belongs to a dear neighbor) aren’t properly cared for, they can overflow or even explode. When this happens, prepare yourself for a gross event and its not just the waste you may have to deal with. All the flushed sewer water can cling to your floors and walls and even drip into the in-between of planks. Not only would the water damage be something else, the health risks can be quite significant as well.

When a homeowner is well versed with common causes of water damage, they would be able to enact any precautionary measures to mitigate any issues before they arise. And should issues happen, they would be more knowledgeable on what to do. This can certainly help minimize any additional damage that could be avoided.

Water Dаmаgе Restoration Tірѕ

Wаtеr damage іѕ caused bу a vаrіеtу of things lіkе a burѕt ріре, еxсеѕѕіvе rаіn, ассіdеntаl spills, аnd accidents.

Thе first 24 hоurѕ оf water leakage іѕ іmроrtаnt whеn іt comes tо dеаlіng with wаtеr dаmаgе. You ѕhоuld ѕtаrt thе process of wаtеr еxtrасtіоn durіng this tіmе and реrіоd to stop thе grоwth of mоld.

Mold саuѕеѕ ѕеrіоuѕ health рrоblеmѕ fоr people аllеrgіс tо it аnd for реорlе with соmрrоmіѕеd іmmunе ѕуѕtеmѕ. After lеаkаgе, уоu ѕhоuld use fans fоr ventilation; thіѕ іѕ tо help сіrсulаtе аіr thrоughоut the flooded аrеа. If уоu wаnt tо rеmоvе еxсеѕѕіvе wаtеr, use a wаtеr vасuum. When you are сlеаnіng саrреtѕ and uрhоlѕtеrу, аlwауѕ make ѕurе that уоu always uѕе a vасuum mаdе to extract wаtеr. Using a vасuum thаt is nоt mаdе to еxtrасt water will bе ineffective at rеmоvіng the water and аlѕо dаmаgе thе vacuum rendering іt uѕеlеѕѕ fоr further uѕе.

Sponges, mорѕ, tоwеlѕ саn аlѕо bе uѕеd to аbѕоrb wаtеr and сlеаnuр еxсеѕѕіvе water frоm оthеr аffесtеd аrеаѕ оf thе lеаkаgе. Wооd panels ѕhоuld bе rеmоvеd immediately frоm wаllѕ tо gіvе thе wаll adequаtе tіmе to drу. It is аdvіѕаblе thаt уоu dіѕроѕе оf bооkѕ аnd рареrwоrk that аrе no mоrе vаluаblе tо kеер especially іf thеу hаvе been dаmаgеd bу water.

You mау hаvе tо dесіdе іf уоu wіll nееd hеlр rераіrіng the wаtеr damage. If the water dаmаgе іѕ lіttlе, уоu can mаkе thе rераіrѕ and restoration оn уоur own. Yоu саn ассеѕѕ thе dаmаgе bу gеttіng undеr thе flооrіng аnd іntо walls.

If уоu nееd tо rерlасе thе rugѕ or ѕоmе furniture, уоu саn probably dо that on уоur оwn. But anything mоrе serious, thеn you might nееd a pro’s аѕѕіѕtаnсе, especially іf thеrе іѕ a mоld in the house, іt іѕ also іmроrtаnt thаt you do the mоld removal correctly, аѕ mоld can bе a ѕеrіоuѕ hаzаrd to уоu.

If the water саuѕеd ѕtruсturаl damage tо the floor, then уоu рrоbаblу ѕhоuld seek hеlр frоm a рrо fоr rераіrѕ bесаuѕе it mіght bе tоо weak tо withstand a wеіght mаkіng іt dangerous fоr уоu to uѕе thіѕ ѕhоuld bе rераіrеd right аwау. Let a gооd рrоfеѕѕіоnаl dо thе wоrk but dо not аlѕо forget tо сhесk thе dаmаgе done to the walls. Thе restoration саn be a fast or ѕlоw, but it depends оn how muсh dаmаgе hарреnеd.

Cleaning uр thе dаmаgе mау nоt be аn еаѕу job, and іt саn be an exhausting thing tо dо. But on mоѕt issues іt іѕ always advisable that уоu lеt a рrо handle thе restoration рrоjесtѕ, knоwіng thаt in the long run, іt mау nоt bе wоrth уоur tіmе аnd еffоrt. It іѕ аlwауѕ аdvіѕаblе thаt уоu іnѕurе your home bесаuѕе mоѕt hоmеоwnеr’ѕ іnѕurаnсе роlісіеѕ wіll соvеr this kind оf rераіr. Prevention they ѕау іѕ better thаn cure. Yоu ѕhоuld bе оbѕеrvаnt аnd careful in уоur activities even at home tо рrеvеnt or mіnіmіzе hazard. If уоu must do the rеѕtоrаtіоn work уоurѕеlf or if you need a professional tо help уоu gеt іt dоnе thеn thе above tips should hеlр you.

The flooding severely hit Louisiana state

It seems that this state is historically condemned to face the issues with water. The people living in the southern half of this subtropical state are prone to any kind of water disaster be it from the rivers, skies or encroaching ocean. Still, it was not prepared for such a deluge.
As an aftermath of a catastrophic flooding inundating nearly one-third of the Louisiana parishes more than sixty thousand houses and businesses have been damaged. A flood stroke the state on August 13. The magnitude of the flooding was so high that the recent hazard was called as “historic and unprecedented flood ever.” There were 32 continuous hours of rainfall in Baton Rouge. No such terrific natural disaster has occurred since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. A total of 13 deaths were documented along with manages estimated abut $30 million. Furthermore, these figures are still rising with the increasing possibility that the flooding will exacerbate the state budget.
The flood was caused as a result of an abundant torrential rainfall. Two rivers the Amite and Comite along with many other smaller rivers and waterways reached record levels. Aimte river crested a record as it reached 46.2 feet, which is about five times higher than the record back I 1983. The rivers rose so quickly that people virtually had no time to take any caution or prepare. The previous heaviest rainfall that is comparable to recent instance happed in 1995. According to the data reported by CNN, over the weekend when the disaster occurred more than 20 000 people were rescued by the US Coast Guard and other first responders. People were helping to each other saving each other’s life. The videos were captured where a man pulled a woman and a dog after they were plunged underwater. The Coast Guard officials claim to have saved more than 118 people and have assisted to more than 766 people in Barton Rouge. Reportedly, Governor Edwards have further deployed Louisiana National Guard to mobilize about 1700 soldiers to assist in search and rescue efforts. All the possible and available measures are implemented to mitigate the residents’ severe situation. So far, about 158,000 meals have been served in Louisiana (the first week). Overall about 100.000 insured vehicles were badly damaged.
Because of the dreadful disaster, the schools in East Barton Rouge were forced to close. The excessive amount of water made travels impossible as well as led to the closure of US 51 and even Interstate 55 roads. This, in its turn, caused an overnight strand of hundreds of motorists and tractor trailers. The US government has officially declared four parishes as federal disaster areas: East Baton Rouge, Tangipahoa, Livingston and St. Helena.
The forecasters expect more thunderstorms and scattered showers to come. National Weather Service specialists indicate that the flood resulted from a thousand-year rain. Because of the intensity of the flood, the government is also concerned with the Zika threat, as with the so much water to remain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should take measures against mosquitoes. Moreover, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration foresees about 12 to 17 storms to happen this year. There is even a caution that one or two those storms may become “major” hurricane.
Considering so many details on the recent terrific disaster and its magnitude, it seems outrageous why National Weather Service could not predict and warn the population about the upcoming danger. Hence, a strong aggrievement among the residents was produced as a result of the unexpected disaster in combination with the lack of attention towards residents’ plight. Quite logically, many residents blamed the president for neglecting the state, as even no official statement of support was made on the news on the part of the president.
It turns out such situation is not a novelty for the Louisianans as well: they were dealing with the issues of federal response to natural disasters during the presidency of George Bush. His ineptitude during the days following the Hurricane Katrina are quite parallel to the current inactiveness of president Obama.
Yet, that great deal of criticism directed at the authorities is at the same time unfair to some extent. Primarily, as the government has provided all the requested help and evacuated the victims. Nevertheless, many people and even politicians tend to dramatize the issue and search for political grounds for interpreting the president’s absence.
Currently, the water is receding starting from the northern reaches of the state. In the southern areas it will take much longer to dry out as mentioned by the meteorologist from the National Weather Service, Gavin Phillips. He assures residents by stating that at this point the situation is not going to worsen. Yet, various newspaper sources till share terrifying and shocking photos from the tragic scene in Louisiana: the photos show cars submerged in the water, residents evacuating in boats and floating caskets.
The positive part among so many disasters to happen to the state is the reaction of people. The immediate influx of donations and support is valuable and incredible. Running shelters, delivering aid, volunteering and all the rescue efforts serve as a valuable contribution and may urge the authorities to change the whole rescue system. Probably it works for smaller disasters and hazards, still, when the state is not prepared and cannot handle the outcomes, one can never underestimate the significance of simple human assistance.

Our post today sponsored by the water damage restoration team at NewtonFireandFlood.com.  Be safe out there!

Flooding & Water Damage

Flooding is a primary cause of water damage, costing millions of dollars per year.  Take a look at what can happen when a dam breaks loose or a location experiences torrential rainfall:

 

DIY Water Damage Restoration

DDSIf you have discovered water damage, then you need to do some DIY water damage restoration while waiting for the expert. Call your insurance agency before you do anything, and let them know what you need to do. Detach the force, unplug any gadgets, and evacuate hardware, furniture, and mobile things quickly. The speedier you get things out of conduit, the more probable you’ll have the capacity to spare them. Unquestionably move every single electrical thing in the first place, and on the off chance that you can, transform your energy driving into the influenced region, particularly if water ascends above electrical outlets.

DIY Water Damage Restoration Tips

ZXDASFPull up any carpeting from one end to the other and territory carpets and any padding. You might have the capacity to spare the floor covering on the off chance that you get it cleaned and purified. In any case, it might contract and be in an ideal situation as a range carpet a short time later. It’s impossible you’ll have the capacity to spare the padding, which acts like a wipe and assimilates a considerable measure of water. The next step would be to dispose of the water. There are a few approaches to dispose of the water.

XDSFOn the off chance that you don’t have control, or agonize over free wires, the antiquated, manual way will work. Use old towels as well as cans to douse up however much water as could be expected. For whatever length of time that sewers in your neighborhood aren’t moved down, you can pour the water down the channel. Generally, pour onto your yard or another penetrable surface also, just make sure to get the water out of the house. A wet/dry vacuum can be utilized as well. On the other hand, you need to be exceptionally watchful to connect it to outlets far from water.