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After the Flood: 10 Immediate Action Items

In the wake of the devastating consequences of Hurricane Harvey, Champions School of Real Estate Home Inspection Instructor Fred Willcox shared the following list of ten things of immediate importance to do after a flood:

Immediate Actions to Take

  • You MUST call/notify your insurance company immediately of your loss.
  • Carefully photograph and record make, model and serial numbers of everything that was damaged. Many of your items may disappear when the water remediation contractors start helping you.
  • Remove all your portable valuables. Strangers wanting to help may be in your house.
  • Remove everything that has been wet from your house that you can remove. Anything based on a wooden/paper/fiber products (drywall (which is commonly called sheetrock), carpet, rugs, hardwood flooring, window treatments, furniture, etc.) can and will support microbial organic growths. Get all wetted drywall, insulating materials, and wooden cabinets out of your house.
  • If your roof has leaked, put on long sleeves, a respirator, eye goggles and gloves and pull down all damaged drywall and all damaged insulating materials. Remove these damaged materials from your home.
  • If your electrical system or components, such as wall outlets, have had water in them, do not use them. Outlets that have not been wetted, such as the garage door opener, are more likely to be safer to use.
  • If you have air conditioning, run the unit all the time. Your air conditioning system is the most efficient system for removing water vapor from your house. Whatever you have heard to the contrary, do not run just the fan on your air conditioning unit. I have witnessed the damage this causes to the evaporator coil.
  • While the weather is cooler and dryer, open all doors and windows, even while running your air conditioner. Once the humidity rises above 60% outside, close your windows and doors. Higher humidity levels do not help the interior of your house dry.
  • Use fans to help the air circulate which can help with the absorption of water vapor.

Beware of scam artists and fast repairs. Fast repairs are seldom good repairs. After the Flood© by Fred Willcox, Champions School of Real Estate Instructor and Owner of; TREC Professional Inspector #160

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