For the past month or so, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have been wreaking havoc all throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States. Even though hurricanes may not be a real problem for Southern California, we here at Clean Earth Restoration want to take this opportunity to talk about these types of water based disasters and the steps property owners can take after the fact to rebuild their homes and businesses.
As you've probably seen on the news, flooding is often responsible for the vast majority of property damage in hurricanes. During its full run Harvey caused an estimated $200 billion of damage to Houston and the surrounding areas, more than 90 percent of which was water damage. Flooding can present a variety of short and long term problems for a structure. In the event of any natural disaster involving flooding, it is important to contact specialists, like us at Clean Earth, as soon as possible if your property was affected.
The most obvious problem presented by flooding is standing water within structures. When returning to a structure affected by large amount of standing water, it is important that you avoid dealing with draining the water without professional help. Not only can large amounts of water be difficult and dangerous to move, but often flood waters from a disaster can pick-up toxic contaminants from a variety of sources making standing flood water much more dangerous.
Mold and Structural Damage
Though in many cases there will be no outwardly visual damage from a flood on a structure, water is extremely destructive to buildings even in small amounts. It can cause rot in wooden structures and shift building foundations even if it did not seem to enter the structure. Mold is often an even bigger issue in buildings that received minor flooding. It only takes a small amount of water to cause long-term mold damage, especially within walls and other spaces that are not immediately visible. Exposure to mold over a long period of time can have terrible consequences for your health. Make sure even if your property seems to be mostly dry and untouched that you have professionals look for the harder to identify damage to buildings.
Fires and Flooding
For the average San Diegan, wildfires are probably a much more pressing concern than hurricanes, but did you know fires can often cause flood damage? We'll write more about this in the future, but for the time being just know that fires can damage public and private water infrastructure that often lead to minor flooding within structures following fire clean up. As you'd probably expect at this point in the article, we highly recommend that along with repairs you have professionals check for the problems listed above from water as they could be a side effect of wildfire damage.
When all is said and done water disasters are something best handled by professionals with the expertise, so if you are in a hurry to rebuild call the pros first. A lot of money can be saved for you and your insurance if you don't take matters into your own hands.