After a hurricane, the next step is to restore the house, it could be to its previous shape or that could also be a time for improvements. As part of the restoration process, it will be vital to check the house for any molds and water damage that might occur due to the hurricane effect. There is often an increased level of mold growth both indoors and outdoors following a hurricane incident.
Let’s take a look at the 5 steps we recommend you take after a hurricane:
1. Enter the home when it is safe and asses the damaged
Although some individuals remain at home during a hurricane, it is advisable to stay away for safety reasons. However, staying away from the house can make it difficult to return once the hurricane is over. In some cases, the hurricane causes intense damage, like completely destroying properties.
If you are able to safely re-enter your home, walk through every part of the house in order to inspect the level of damage done to the interior and exterior. However, be careful as there might be a gas leak, water damage, or unstable structures around, and those might be difficult to notice at a first glance. If you are unsure of the safety status of your property, it might be best to leave this process to professionals: our team at QuicktoDry has the expertise and equipment to safely assess the state of your property and determine if is possible to re-enter it.
This first re-entering stage is only advisable if your property did not sustain considerable damage. If you notice any water damage, such as a flood or water leak inside your home, then walking into that could be dangerous.
If you cannot re-enter it, then you can start to clean up the yard or outside area of your home, to dispose of any debris or external objects that might be there. Also, you can try to get rid of the fallen trees, waste, broken branches, and garbage in the yard.
2. See if drying out your home is possible
If you are able to re-enter your home and there is currently no floodwater in it, then you can try to air it out, by opening the windows. Natural air will be your ally, but make sure to not use any fans or electrical equipment unless you are absolutely certain there was no water damage on the inside of your property. A wet/damp socket or electrical cord from any appliance could create a disaster.
Drying out your home could help prevent further damage from mold, mildew and decay, but this is a time-sensitive matter. Black mold colonies can grow as quickly as within the first 24 to 48 hours after water exposure, according to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), which means you could potentially be exposed to it if you enter your home after that time frame.
3. Water damage restoration after a hurricane
Another reason why you need to act quickly if you’ve had water damage in your home after a hurricane is because dampness can lead to the disintegration of the wallboard. The water damage often causes mud and some other water contaminants that pose a health risk to getting the environment dirty. A study estimated that out of 21.8 million people living with asthma, 4.6 million of them had the condition from living with mold(1). Floodwater is known to have several contaminants in it, which will be a direct health risk for you and your family. On top of the bacteria it carries and other issues, floodwater is also likely to cause mold growth depending on how quickly you address the water damage. As such, we recommend you take immediate action if there is any kind of water damage on your property and call professional help. Our team of experts will begin by prioritizing the cleaning-up process, which includes moisture removal, to get rid of all the floodwater, and then we’ll begin the mold testing and sanitizing process, to ensure your family’s safety comes first, and this is only the beginning of our flood restoration services.
Water mitigation is also vital because it helps retain your valuables by preserving carpets, rugs, and furniture, which are often directly affected. Addressing the sources of water damage is crucial in preventing mold growth.
4. Mold testing and remediation after hurricane
Although mold is always present in the environment, it requires adequate moisture to grow. When the house is damp, it facilitates the growth of mold and mildew. After a hurricane, one of the first things to check in the house is the growth of mold. The CDC found visible mold growth in 46% of the houses after hurricane Katrina(2). Molds tend to grow within 24 to 48 hours and can grow anywhere within the house.
Mold tends to grow beneath floors, in basements, and behind drywalls. If you notice any mold in the house, it is advisable to get a professional to test your house for mold. Prolonged mold exposure can lead to itchy skin and respiratory problems. Black mold specifically, and several other types of mold, are proven to pose serious risks to your health given that they spread through imperceptible spores that drift through the air and attach themselves to any wet or damp surfaces. This means you should avoid any contact with the affected area because you can inhale these spores and develop some respiratory issues. On top of that, the house will have a long-lasting odor if the home is not completely dried out. This is just another reason why we strongly suggest you hire professional help for this restoration process, since we are all trying to work against the clock.
5. Restore your home after a hurricane with professional help
There isn’t a fool-proof way to prevent your home from suffering damages after a hurricane, but there are definitely ways to make sure you repair and restore your house so that it is not only salvageable, but that you can move back in and get back to your life as soon as possible. After evaluating the extent of the damage yourself and really taking into account the possible risks associated with the aftermath of a hurricane, our last tip is that you don’t give it a second thought and call professional help, immediately. Here at Quick2Dry, we specialize in disaster relief and general emergency services. We are ready to tackle any storm damage and will prioritize how time-sensitive this whole process is, and act quickly to minimize structural damage and the cost of replacing your valuable assets. Our flood restoration process will make sure to extract all the water from your home and our mold testing process will prevent any further damage from ever occurring.
Contact us to learn every way in which we can help you during this unimaginable situation, you can visit our website to see all of our conveniently located and fully equipped offices or to claim your complimentary cleaning estimates. You can also call us at 614-328-5111 or send us an email at [email protected] if you have any questions.