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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Vulnerable Are Homes To Flood Damage?

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

You can trust that your home is in good hands with the experts at SERVPRO.

SERVPRO Provides Information Necessary to Prepare Homes against Flood Damage in Raleigh and Assists in Restoration after Incident.

Storms or hurricanes generally lead to destructive flooding in the areas they affect. However, the vulnerability of homes to such incidents may not be as uniform as you might think. SERVPRO plays a crucial role, whether in taking steps to minimize damage or restoring the affected areas in Raleigh homes.

Does the vulnerability of a specific home change over time?

The central aspect that determines the level of flood damage in your Raleigh home is the intensity of the flooding incident. However, secondary factors can also have some impact. For instance, the flooding can happen unexpectedly, or you might have some prior warning that there is a major storm heading your way. Your home might also be located in an area designated as a flood zone, so you have an idea that a flooding incident can happen at any time. Such prior knowledge can help you take some steps that minimize some vulnerabilities.

What vulnerabilities can be minimized by the actions you take?

  • Vulnerability to water intrusion 
  • Vulnerability to issues you can change by preparing for the incident
  • Vulnerability to issues that develop after the incident

Since one of the ways floods affect properties is by introducing water in unwanted areas, the actions you take to prevent such intrusion can determine the level of damage you have to deal with after an incident. Floodwater can intrude into your property because of: 

  • Improper landscaping 
  • Improperly sealing doors and windows 
  • Lack of helpful utilities such as sewage backflow valves

In cases where there is minimal rising groundwater, the interior of your house can be spared. However, water from a torrential downpour can still find a way inside if the landscaping does not direct water from gutters and downspouts away from the house. Another reason you may end up with damage inside the house is if there are gaps around openings such as doors and windows that allow driving rain to filter into the house. 

In cases involving significant groundwater, the pressure from floodwaters can cause storm drains and sewer lines to back up, driving raw sewage or contaminated water into your washing machines, sinks, bathtubs, toilets, and other utilities, leading to unnecessary decontamination and demolition work inside your house. Our SERVPRO technicians can evaluate your property and help highlight such weaknesses that elevate your home's vulnerability to flooding.

How can one prepare for an upcoming flooding incident?

Although you might feel helpless when you are notified that your home is in the path of an oncoming storm, you should not leave everything to fate. Some simple actions can help lower the likelihood of some of the damages caused by such incidents, including:

  • Turning off water and power at the mains
  • Relocating movable items to elevated sections of your property 
  • Checking whether electrical outlets and installations are above the expected water line

Such actions help for various reasons. For instance, pipes can burst during the storm, and if there is running water, it can flow into your house, worsening the situation. Damage to other utility lines, such as gas and electricity, can also cause problems. You can also save more items by limiting their contact with floodwater. Therefore, moving them to an elevated location helps limit the possibility of damage. Apart from individual contents, you can also elevate electrical outlets or installations such as furnaces to limit contact with groundwater.

Do actions taken after the flooding incident help?

Although responding to a flooding incident often involves reversing the damage that is already done, you can take some actions that prevent secondary damage. Our SERVPRO technicians can help with this by:

  • Locating all areas affected by moisture
  • Removing all traces of contaminants
  • Handling the restoration of vulnerable materials like hardwood floorboards

One of the issues that leads to unnecessary secondary damage is the failure to dry all areas affected by the floodwaters. Cavities in the wall or floor assemblies form perfect locations for moisture holdouts. Our SERVPRO technicians easily identify such areas using sophisticated equipment such as thermal cameras. We can then demolish the area or use specialized cavity drying equipment to get rid of the moisture. Removing porous materials is also one way we use to remove all traces of contamination from your property after a flooding incident.

Some of the materials in your house affected during the flooding incident might require specialized care to prevent permanent damage. For example, if you have a hardwood floor in your house, exposure to flood water can lead to swelling of the floorboards. With the right restoration approach, it is possible to reverse such swelling. Our technicians utilize methods such as setting up drying chambers over the wet floor to expedite and control the drying process. 

Although your home is vulnerable to flood damage, you can fight back. Call SERVPRO of Southeast Raleigh / Garner to help. You can reach us at (919) 615-1179. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

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