Restoring Your Home After A Natural Disaster
Restoring a home after a natural disaster is a big job. More often than not, it is in your best interest to work with a professional restoration company. Employing contractors who have the tools and experience to handle the required restoration can make the job go by much faster.
Don’t Wait To Begin The Restoration Work
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a natural disaster is waiting to call a restoration company or even to start the restoration yourself. Whichever route you are taking, you need to start working fast. This is especially true of a home that has suffered from flood damage. Water damage only grows worse with time and can lead to mold formation very quickly.
You should begin the clean up and restoration process as soon as it is safe to enter the home. Use this time to decide what work, if any, you will handle yourself. Do you have skills or experience that could be useful in the clean up and restoration process? If not, then you should instead work with a professional contractor.
The Problem With Flood Water
Many times homeowners will clean up visible water, but forget water that has been absorbed into the floor or the walls. The drywall tends to absorb a lot of moisture and pull it away from the ground. It can remain hidden for some time, which allows mold to begin to grow.
If you are cleaning the water yourself you should remember that flood water is classified as contaminated black water. It may contain a variety of different contaminants, bacteria, sewage, or chemicals. As such, you should always wear proper protective gear including gloves and respirators while working in or near the water.
Getting Rid Of Mold
It only takes a couple of days for mold to begin forming in a moist environment. Serious exposure to mold can pose health risks for kids and adults. Even small amounts of mold can cause problems in people with respiratory problems like asthma.
Mold can be cleaned from some surfaces, but others must be removed entirely. Porous materials, such as drywall, cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected so they must be removed where there is mold growth. Once the mold is gone you must examine the home on a regular basis for new mold growth.
Is There Lead Based Paint In The Property?
If the house was built before 1978, then you should assume it was painted using some form of lead based paint. Lead based paint can lead to many serious health problems in people of all ages, but is especially harmful to young children. High exposure can cause lifelong problems in adults as well.
You should only work with a contractor who has been trained and certified to handle lead based paint. Otherwise, their work could actually cause bigger problems.
Resources At Your Disposal
The best resource at your disposal is your insurance policy, but only if it covers the particular type of damage that occurred. Otherwise, you can rely on local disaster recovery programs. Many areas have these programs and they can be found via the FEMA website. Use the resources available to you to ensure your home is properly restored and once again safe after a natural disaster.