10 Steps for Remodeling After Water Damage
Water damage can result from leaky faucets, washing machines, or bad weather. It can also result from clogged gutters or damaged roofs. Whatever the cause, dealing with water damage can be frustrating and challenging. But, on the brighter side, it allows you to remodel your home. Here are 10 steps for remodeling after water damage.
Ensure Your Electrical Safety
Water and electricity combination can be lethal. Suppose you experience water damage in your house. In that case, you should hire a qualified electrical contractor to examine your home’s electrical system before re-energizing any of your devices after water damage. Why electrical evaluation anyway?
Professional electricians will disconnect your home’s electrical system entirely from the grid to prevent you from being electrocuted. The electricians can also test the electrical system to ensure it’s not receiving any back-fed electric currents from the neighborhood. While turning off the electricity will eliminate the risk of electrocution, it also reduces the risk of electrical fires resulting from electrical shots.
If you have electrical devices in your home, electrical professionals will test for the ones that have survived submersion and suggest a solution for the damaged electrical devices. They can also offer electrical system remodeling after water damage to ensure the flawless flow of currents.
Over and above that, most electrical contractors are trained and experienced in maintaining indoor air quality, heating, and cooling systems. Hiring one is a great way to have these systems maintained cheaply. Most importantly, you must eliminate any electric currents from the home to allow for water damage repairs and replacements.
Engage in a Rapid Water Removal
If left unattended, water damage can lead to structural damage. Also, prolonged wetness on the floor, walls, and other surfaces can promote the growth of molds, pests, and bacteria, risking you of severe health complications. Having a professional perform water damage restoration after water damage is essential to prevent the above problems.
Typically, water restoration specialists start by performing inspections and tests to identify the water source, the level of contamination, and the extent of water damage. With the above results, they can determine which strategies for remodeling after water damage would be most effective.
One advantage of working with water damage restoration professionals is that they have the right skills and equipment for extracting standing water, removing molds and mildew, and drying and dehumidifying the affected areas to improve indoor air quality and general comfort. Additionally, these professionals can remove and replace unsalvageable parts of your house, like dry walls, trim boards, and carpet paddings. All you need is to work with a qualified water damage restoration service.
Conduct a Thorough House Cleanup
After you have removed all the standing water, you should extract all the soaked and contaminated material from the house. Make sure you pack and discard them in compliance with the local codes. Also, remove any submerged valuables and place them in an open ground to salvage any items not rated for water resistance from damage. Shovel out any silt and mud before they dry up, and then clean the home surfaces.
When cleaning the interior walls, remove the wall insulation and the wall finishes first. This step will allow for the easy removal of water, mud, and other debris from the wall cavities for effective drying. Apply an ammonia-free cleaning solution to the walls, floors, and other surfaces and scrub them using a stiff brush.
Rinse and disinfect the surfaces and leave them to dry. You may need a moisture meter to track how much moisture remains on the cleaned surfaces. After the walls are completely dry, you may need to test them for mold to eliminate them before any other step for remodeling after water damage.
As you can see, cleaning up a house after water damage needs not only expertise but also the use of special equipment. As such, you never think of DIYing it unless you operate a water damage cleanup business.
Dry Things Out
After cleaning, the next step is to dry the home surfaces, including furniture, to prevent the growth of molds. Also, dry the electrical appliances and test them for functionality before re-using them.
Usually, drying the surfaces, furniture, and other items in your home will require special tools, especially if the project involves clearing vast amounts of water. Whether you have the necessary equipment for drying or not, hiring a water damage company remains the ultimate option.
The personnel from water damage companies have the right skills for dealing with water restoration and related tasks like motorizing, Xactimate, cabinet making, power water clearance and demolition, and plumbing. That means they can restore your house to a better condition than it was before the occurrence of the water damage.
Water damage companies have access to the right tools and equipment for remodeling after water damage. They can get all your needs sorted quickly and efficiently, whether you need new kitchen cabinetry, roofing, or flooring services.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, molds will develop if a surface remains dumped for more than 48 hours after a spill/ leak happens. And surprisingly, mold spores, especially the ones for black mold, can remain on the house surfaces even after a thorough scrubbing. Since you may not detect these microbes with the naked eye, you must hire a water damage remediation service to test and fix the problem.
Typically, most water damage professionals inspect the house for hidden moisture and then take a sample from the dry walls for testing. Before any house reconstruction project takes effect, the mold removal exercise should be executed to protect workers from inhaling it. Why hire a mold removal service when you can do it all?
If you do DIY mold removal, you might use crude techniques and release mold spores into the atmosphere. These spores may risk you and other people of health complications like nasal congestion, sneezing, skin rash, and runny nose. The symptoms may even be worse in asthmatic patients. Water damage professionals have tools and equipment tailored to overcome these risks.
Besides removing the existing mold, water damage remediation professionals know how to identify the source of the mold and what preventive treatments can inhibit their growth in the future. Hiring a professional to remove mold improves indoor air quality and your health.
Decide What Upgrades to Make
Once your home is completely dry and mold-free, you should identify the damaged sections and other areas that need some TLC to restore their functionality and prevent water problems in the future. To avoid going splurge on non-essential upgrades, hire an experienced house remodeler for remodeling after water damage to recommend tricks that will resolve the water problem and improve the value of your home.
For instance, depending on the nature of water damage, the house designing professional may recommend:
- An electrical rewiring to correct any electrical faults
- Plumbing system repairs and replacements to rid any leakages and broken pipes
- Replacement of individual components in the HVAC system
- Structural changes and additions to avoid future flood damages, leakages, and condensation
- Structural adjustments to improve the curb appeal and the décor of a home
Additionally, any experienced remodeler will give money and time estimates for the above recommendations to make your home remodeling after water damage a breeze. But how will you know you are working with a qualified professional? First, review their customer testimonials on the websites to get insights from their past customers. Alternatively, you can ask for recommendations from your friends and relatives.
Reach Out to the Insurance Company
Your insurance company may offer financial compensation for the damages if the property was insured. Most insurance providers cover water damage from leaking roofs, frozen or burst water pipes, and a sudden plumbing issue. Review your insurance policy to check the terms and conditions, and then inform the insurer immediately.
Note that most insurers require you to report the occurrence of an insured risk (water damage) within 48 hours to give them enough time to investigate the matter. So make sure you comply with your insurer’s deadlines. Also, take photos, videos, and any other evidence that shows your property has been damaged by water. If you have started some repairs, keep the receipts for the money you used so the insurer can compensate.
Your insurance firm should send an adjuster immediately after you call them. The role of the adjuster is to assess the level of water damage in the house and evaluate the most appropriate amount of compensation you should get for custom home remodeling after water damage. The adjuster will probably ask you questions about the water damage, so you should comply and honestly answer them.
If you qualify for insurance, the adjuster will inform you later on the amount you can get based on their findings. Normally, insurance firms don’t compensate for water damage caused by negligence, such as gradual leaking, which could have been avoided, or natural disasters. Ensure an insurance policy covers the cause of the damage to your property before you initiate the claim process.
Repair or Replace Damaged Flooring
Water damage can significantly impact your floor, mainly if the water damage source is in the basement. Therefore, you should decide to repair or replace the floor damages according to the severity. A repair is an esculent option for minor damages, and replacements are only suitable when the floor is damaged beyond repair.
You should inform your residential plumber before starting the plumbing inspection process. Assuming that a plumbing issue caused the water drainage issue, you must confirm that the system is okay before installing your new flooring.
Installing a new floor is easy when you are skilled and have the right tools. The main types of floor to consider for your modeling include tiles, hardwood, or even laminate floors. You can then cover up with a carpet or rug only when your newly installed floor is dried.
Extend Some Love to Your Home Exteriors
Now that you are done renovating your house, the next step is working on your exterior to improve its curb appeal. If the water damage came from the floods, the chances are high that the floods left significant damage and dirt on your lawn.
Call a professional landscaping company to measure your place’s topography and devise a permanent solution for floods. Additionally, these professionals should clean any visible debris and plant grass, trees, and other greenery to prevent soil erosion while improving its look.
If your budget permits, call professional plumbers to clean, repair, and disinfect the water points in your compound, including the swimming pools. You can also request them to install moisture detectors in water-prone areas in your house, like the kitchen, laundry room, near dishwashers, toilet, and basement, among others, to help detect the problem before it gets out of control. You should only think of getting back to your home after your home exterior is well-designed to overcome water damage in the future.
Move Back to Your Home
The last vital step of remodeling after water damage is to get back in the house once everything is done. When your property is damaged by water, it’s almost impossible to continue staying due to extreme coldness and possible mold. Besides, you must leave room for inspection by contractors while away.
After repairs and custom home remodeling after water damage, you should only get back into the house when the remodeling contractors say so. One of the things your contractor should test for presence before moving in is moisture and dampness, which could facilitate the breeding of bacteria. Before you move in, there should be no mold, mildew, or foundation cracks.
Ensure the walls and floors are completely dry before you move in. If not, you can use a dehumidifier to speed up the process. Lastly, monitor your house well to prevent any future occurrence of water drainage. A professional inspector can help you with the monitoring process to ensure your house is safe and in excellent condition.
Water damage is devastating and can be too much to handle alone, hence the need to seek professional assistance. If you experience water damage in your home, follow the above 10 steps for remodeling after water damage to restore your property.