Floods are definitely one of the natural disasters that cause many problems, including lost properties and wrecked houses. If you’re living in Portland Oregon, you must have been experiencing this problem once or twice a year, especially if you’re living near flood prone areas. So, what do you do when flood wreaks havoc in your house?
Before the Renovation
Home renovation from flooding takes time and money, especially if the damage is great. Before you decide to remodel the house, it’s very important to know that the building is structurally safe. Since floods usually damage the floor and the foundation of the building, it’s best to have a contractor who can check whether a remodeling can take place or not.
Aside from the floor and the foundation, broken glasses and dangerous debris must be checked as well. This way, there won’t be any risks of accidents once the contractor starts working on your house. You must know that the reconstruction of flooded houses always start with a cleanup. Here are some of the things to remember in cleaning up the mess of a flooded house.
- Clothes, furniture, and personal belongings that were destroyed by the flood have to be removed. They have to be disposed of.
- You also need to trash out electronic devices that can’t be repaired and used again.
- Walls made of wood and insulation materials that were damaged by the flood must be torn down.
- Since wood doors and floorings normally expand if submerged in water, it’s best to remove them as well.
If you don’t have a big house, you can probably finish cleaning the mess left by the flood for a day or two. Once you’ve trashed out the damaged furniture, appliances, doors, and walls, you can start cleaning out the mold buildup from the flood. You can use biocides that you can easily buy from janitorial supply stores to keep everything clean inside the house.
Drying Out the House
After cleaning the house with disinfectants, the next thing you need to do is to dry out the house. Before the Portland remodel contractor you called can work safely in your house, everything must be safe for additional damages caused by wet walls or flooring. In hot days, make sure to keep the windows and doors open for better ventilation. If you decide to use heaters and fans, it’s best to control the heat to prevent the wood walls and flooring from warping and splitting.
What happens when repairs are made without drying out the house first?
- Vinyl floor coverings will be damaged quickly.
- Paintwork and plaster will have cracks as the wood material continuous to dry.
- Finishes will have blisters.
- It increases the risk of health problems to the occupants of the house.
Repairs include paintings and this can’t be done without testing the moisture levels first. If the moisture drops down to 16%, that’s the only time that you can have the walls repainted. For concrete floors, the best way to test the dryness is the use of a flooring hygrometer.
Finding a Contractor
Although most contractors specialize in home construction and remodeling, you have to understand that not everyone is qualified for a house remodel because of damages from flood and other natural disasters. Since flood also cause mold buildups in buildings, it’s very important to have someone with experience in controlling mold problems. If it has become a major concern, hiring an industrial hygienist that will provide the effective methods of mold removal is a must.
Here are some of the things that you have to do before you sign a contract from a Portland restoration contractor:
- Make sure that you understand everything in the contract, including the terms and conditions provided by the contractor.
- Know how charges and fees will be handled – does it have a weekly or monthly payment schedule?
- Get the paperwork done. Get copies of MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) if the contractor will use chemicals for mold control, insurance policies, and general liability certificates.
- Before the project starts, document your house first. This way, you’ll know whether damages were made when the contractor started working in your house so you can avoid additional charges.
Other Concerns in Renovating a Flooded House
Since your house is composed of many systems, including ventilation and electrical circuits, you may need other skills that a contractor might not be able to provide. A licensed electrician will know whether you need to place receptacles, service panels, lighting fixtures, and electrical connectors. You can also contact a licensed HVAC professional that will assess the damage made and perform repairs immediately, especially when it comes to mold issues.
Again, you need to remember that remodeling a flooded house takes time and money. If you think your insurance policy can’t handle certain issues in your house like electrical and HVAC damages, here are some remodeling tips that will help you cut the costs of restoring your flooded house.
- You can repair damaged doors if they are solid doors or the ones made from metal. If you have hollow core doors, it’s best to replace them to avoid repair problems and mold buildups.
- Concrete floors dry out without any problems. If you have wood floors and you encounter flood problems a lot, it’s best to switch to concrete floors in the future.
- Talk to at least three Portland restoration contractors and compare prices. When you have more knowledge in pricing, you’ll know how to make deals on how to make the price more comfortable with your budget.
- If your insurance company will cover the damages to your flooded house, work with your contractor and get the paperwork done.
Always remember to check contractor references to avoid being ripped off in the process. A bad contractor usually refuses to provide estimates, license numbers, and certificates before you sign a contract. An unusually low price is also one of the signs that the contractor you’re planning to hire for the remodeling of your flooded house will make more problems. After all, this is your home we’re talking about.