A flood can cause extensive damage to your home in a very short amount of time. Water can quickly enter and saturate the building materials, furniture, and personal belongings. Even a few inches of floodwater can create significant damage and make your home uninhabitable. The effects of a flood on your home can be incredibly costly and daunting.
If you live in a flood-prone area, it’s essential to be prepared and have a plan in place in case of an emergency. Learn more details on the effects of floods below.
How Does Floodwater Enter a Home?
Floodwater can enter your home through the following routes:
- Doors and windows
- Cracks in the foundation
- The sewer system
- Flood vents
Once the water has made its way in, it can quickly cause structural damage and ruin personal belongings.
The Effects of a Flood on Your Home
The following are some of the ways floodwater can damage your home:
- It can compromise your foundation. Water can erode the soil around your foundation, leading to cracks and leaks. If water levels are high, there is an increased chance your foundation can wash away, resulting in severe structural problems.
- Walls, ceilings, and floors can be impacted. Drywall can swell and break off, ceilings can potentially collapse, and floors can buckle due to the floodwater pressure.
- It can damage your personal belongings. Floodwater typically destroys everything in its path, including appliances, electronics, and other home furnishings.
- Mold and mildew can proliferate. Mold and mildew can grow in flooded areas within 24 to 48 hours after the event. This can cause health problems for you and your family. Your possessions are also at risk for mold and mildew growth.
- Electrical systems can be impaired. Floodwater affects your electrical wiring, which can ultimately pose a fire hazard.
- It can contaminate your water supply. Floodwater can spoil your home’s water system, resulting in adverse health effects.
- It can affect plumbing systems. Your plumbing can go haywire as a result of floodwater, causing leaks. Flooding can therefore occur in other areas of your home.
How to Prepare Your Home for a Flood
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, here are some steps you can take to fortify your home:
- Install flood vents. Flood vents allow water to enter your home without causing damage.
- Elevate your appliances. If possible, raise your appliances and electronics above the expected floodwater level.
- Anchor your fuel tanks. Securely anchor fuel tanks so they don’t float away and aren’t a threat to the environment.
- Install a sump pump. A sump pump will remove water from your home in the event of a flood.
- Have an emergency plan. Have a plan in place in case of an emergency. Your plan should include food supplies, bottled water, and other essential items.
- Know your flood risk. Each area in the United States has a designated flood map. Contact your insurance agent or call the National Flood Insurance Program to learn your risk.
Preparing your home in advance can minimize floodwater damage when it happens. These tips can also ensure you and your family remain safe during a flood emergency.
Types of Flooding
There are a few types of floods that occur in nature:
- Flash floods occur when there is a lot of rain in a short period of time. They can also happen when a dam or levee breaks. Flash floods often strike with little or no warning.
- Riverine floods, or river floods, happen when rivers overflow their banks. These extreme weather phenomena can be caused by heavy rains, melting snow, or a dam or levee breaking. River flooding usually occurs over days or weeks.
- Coastal floods happen when a storm surge and waves from a hurricane or other severe weather event cause seawater to inundate coastal areas. High tides and rainfall can also cause coastal flooding.
- Urban floods can result from heavy rains overwhelming the stormwater system in metropolitan regions. Urban flooding can cause property damage and transportation disruptions.
- Pluvial floods happen when rainfall exceeds the ground’s capacity to absorb water. This type of flood can take place in areas with high levels of clay or other impermeable materials in the ground.
- Sewage floods occur when sewage systems are overwhelmed by heavy rains or flooding. Sewage floods can contaminate drinking water and cause health problems.
How to Stay Safe During a Flood
Knowing your flood risks and being prepared is important if you live in an area prone to flooding. Follow these tips to ensure your safety:
- If you are instructed to evacuate, do so immediately. Follow the flash flood warning, watch, or advisory issued by local authorities.
- Avoid driving through flooded areas. Turn around and go another way if you come across a flooded road.
- Do not walk through floodwater. Floodwater can contain bacteria and waterborne diseases that can negatively affect your health.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water.
- Do not return to your home until the authorities say it is safe.
The Importance of Quick Flood Damage Restoration
Whether from a storm surge or other natural disaster, acting fast is crucial in the event of a flood on your property.
As previously mentioned, mold can form within 24 to 48 hours after water enters your home. Commencing water damage restoration as soon as possible increases the probability that structural drying efforts will be successful, eliminating the need for large-scale demolition and reconstruction.
When it comes to water damage restoration, PuroClean’s QuickDry system quickly and effectively dries flooded and water-damaged structures.
PuroClean’s unique system uses psychometric science, a proven process that monitors dehumidification and temperature to speed up evaporation and drying in as little as three days or less.
The process uses high-capacity air movers to create an air vortex and LGR dehumidifiers to draw in the wet, cold air and blow out warm and dry air. Everything can be saved when the QuickDry system is activated in time, from carpeting to drywall.
Regardless of what type of drying technology is used or the scope of the water damage, fast action is key to a successful restoration.
For Professional Flood Damage Restoration, Call the PuroClean Remediation Experts!
The recovery process after a major flooding event can be challenging. If you require assistance restoring your property after severe flooding, contact a professional flood damage restoration company like PuroClean. We have the experience and equipment necessary to get your home back to its pre-loss condition. To reach our team 24/7, please call (509) 505-5353.