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Flooded Homes by Tornado Tim
The Danger is not over when the water is gone

Sadly, you cannot just move back into a home after a flood and do a quick cleanup of it. Flooding damages a building in many ways. Materials submerged in flood water can decay, swell, and warp, but also become contaminated from the polluted waters. Electrical equipment and components usually corrode and if not replaced may cause fires or electrical shock after the flood waters are long gone. Surfaces that laid wet for days encourage mold growth, which discolors surfaces, leads to odor problems and deteriorates building materials. Health problems are big from allergic reactions to out right highly toxic residues that are usually left behind. 

After the flood waters are gone a home must be carefully cleaned, dried, and decontaminated before it can be safely inhabited. Because flood waters contain sewage, decaying carcasses of animals remains, human remains, rotting foods and other hazardous materials, homes must be decontaminated. There are also micro-organisms, and other contaminants that have seeped into the structure, wood and other porous materials.

So not only do homes need to be dried out, but they must be decontaminated.  It is well documented that mold contamination in buildings can cause significant health problems. These problems can include simple allergic responses such as eye, nose and throat irritation, excessive colds and flu, lowered immune systems, acute mycotoxicosis, a severe reaction to mold produced toxic chemicals, mold induced asthma, mold lung infections, and chronic debilitating lung diseases.

Structural Instability:
Flood waters can rearrange and damage natural walkways, as well as sidewalks, parking lots, roads, buildings, and open fields. Water-damaged structures and even the ground can be very unstable. Buildings that have been submerged or have withstood rushing flood waters may have suffered structural damage and could be dangerous and beyond repair.

All flood-damaged buildings need to be examined and certified as safe by a registered professional engineer or architect. Assume all stairs, floors, and roofs are unsafe until they are inspected. For a huge disaster, just imagine how long this inspection will take. Each and every home and building must be inspected.

What to do first when you are allowed back In
• Throw away water-damaged food including canned goods that have come in contact with floodwaters. Boil water until local authorities declare the water supply safe to drink. File your Flood Insurance Claim

• Call your agent who handles your flood insurance to file a claim. Have the following information with you when you place your call: (1) the name of your insurance company (your agent may write policies for more than one company); (2) your policy number; and (3) a telephone number/e-mail address where you can be reached.

• Take photos. To make filing your claim easier, take photos of any water in the house and damaged personal property. If necessary, place these items outside the home. Your adjustor will need evidence of the damage and damaged items (i.e.: cut swatches from carpeting, curtains, chairs) to prepare your repair estimate.

• Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their age and value where possible. If possible, have receipts for those lost items available for the adjuster. Law officials may require the disposal of damaged items. If so, keep a swatch or other sample of the item(s) for the adjuster. Clean Up

• Prevent mold and remove wet contents immediately. Saturated carpeting, stuffed furniture, bedding (if wet) and any other items holding dampness, moisture or water inside the building. Walls, floors, doors, closets and shelves should be thoroughly washed and disinfected.

• Thoroughly dry out the building’s interior. Portable dehumidifiers are useful and rental costs may be covered under your flood policy. Your air conditioner can also be used to start the drying out process.  home of Tornado Tim