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After The Flood And The Initial Cleanup -- There's Still More To Do

Construction & Contractors Articles

So you've just spent several days cleaning up and drying out your house after a flood. It's been hard, grueling work, and you're glad that you're almost done with all this hard work. But are you? Unfortunately, your work may be just starting. 

Have Your Crawl Space Inspected

Once the interior of your home has been dried out, you will need to visit this link and have the crawl space checked for damage. It will also need to be dried out to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Many people don't realize that the air in their crawlspaces cycles into the interior of their homes. And if there is mold or mildew growing under their homes, it could seriously affect the health of the inhabitants.

Assessing a crawlspace, however, is a job best left for professionals. After a flood, there could be damaged electrical wiring or dangerous debris in the crawl space that could cause you serious injury. Your crawlspace could also be contaminated with bacteria if the flood waters contained raw sewage. Plus, it's not uncommon for crawl spaces to shelter all kinds of unfriendly creatures, including insects, snakes, raccoon and opossums. A professional crawlspace service can:

  • Clean, dry out and sanitize your crawlspace. 
  • Assess any damage caused by the flood to your crawlspace. 
  • Check to see if mold and/or mildew is growing in your crawl space. If the mold is extensive, you may need to call in a mold remediation service. 
  • Waterproof your crawlspace to prevent future mold and mildew growth.

Be Vigilant

After a region is flooded, it's not unusual for shady contractors to knock on the doors of homeowners desperate to get their houses repaired. But be wary of these so-called stormchasers. These fly-by-night contractors have a tendency to either do poor work or to take your money without completing the job. Before hiring any contractors to perform work on your flood-damaged home, you should:

  • Ask for and call on references. Speak with several of the contractor's customers. If you can't reach any of the contractor's customers, that could be a warning sign. 
  • Check to see if the contractor has in-state license plates. Stormchasers often flood an area from other states. 
  • Ask to see the contractor's license and proof of insurance. If they can't provide these, don't hire the service.  
  • Avoid using contractors that show up unsolicited on your doorsteps. Although it may be hard to get in touch with legitimate contractors after a storm, it is best to be patient and wait until you can work with a trusted local service.

Have Your Home Inspected for Mold

If your family members suddenly develop breathing difficulties or asthma problems, you should consider inspecting your home for mold. It is possible that flood waters got into your walls and under your floorboards, which may have created an ideal environment for the growth of toxic molds. If you believe you may have a mold problem in your main dwelling, you should:

  • Check areas that smell musty to see if you can locate the source of your mold problem. 
  • Wear a protective mask while looking for problem areas and during cleaning.
  • Have your air ducts cleaned if you believe they are contaminated.
  • Hire a professional remediation service if you feel uncomfortable tackling mold, which could be potentially toxic. 

If you don't feel comfortable tacking this serious problem on your own, you should consider hiring a professional mold remediation company to inspect your home. 

Unfortunately, it can take months after a flood for your house to return to "normalcy." During this period, it's important to be patient and to hire only legitimate contractors to perform any work that needs to be done on your home. 

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21 January 2015