Flood Damage >> Water Damage

Many of our buildings have been affected by the heavy rains and flooding that occur every spring and summer. The purpose of this article is to help building owners minimize structural and cosmetic Water Damage. It contains general advice that was written to cover a wide variety of buildings with varying degrees of flood damage. If you suspect that your building could have some structural damage, contact a qualified structural engineer or architect to completely assess the situation and suggest remedies.

  1. A description of the many tax credit programs for rehabilitation of historic structures, there's free technical publications available through your local historic preservation office and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the telephone numbers you can call for more assistance, and additional resources are provided online. Once you are able to return to your Water Damage building, the first tasks will likely be to remove mud and debris and to inspect the building for water damage. Saving your building, no matter how valuable, is not worth losing your life or risking permanent serious injury.
  2. Please observe these safety precautions, do not walk through the flowing water, do not drive through a Water Damage area, stay away from the power lines and downed electrical wires, make sure that your electricity is turned completely off. If any of your electrical wiring was submerged, have it inspected before turning your power back on, look before you step, floods deposit mud which makes most of the walking surfaces very slippery, be alert for gas leaks and carbon monoxide exhaust kills. If you have to use electrical generators or charcoal cooking grills, make sure they are properly vented.
  3.  Clean everything that got Water Damage, floodwaters carry sewage and toxic chemicals. Hose down your concrete and the masonry walls and scrub all of your surfaces with disinfectant. Throw away any food and medicine that came in contact with floodwater. Wear your protective clothing and make sure the building is properly ventilated while you're working inside. Remember to follow local health code guidelines concerning your preventative shots or vaccinations. No other "element" is as destructive to your buildings as water damage. After the building has been saturated and after the Water Damage recede, it is important that the drying process will begin immediately.
  4.  Most of the flood damaging effects of water, such as rot, rust, and mold, can be minimized by reducing both interior and exterior moisture levels. The very least damaging drying process appears to be one that will begin by using only the ventilation. To speed the evaporation process, interior air must be vented to the outside of the building. The best way to do this is to open all of the windows and doors and allow the moisture to finally escape. Fans could be used to speed Water Damage evaporation by moving the interior air and exhausting the humid air to the outdoors. Using heat or dehumidification too soon can bring damage to your building.

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