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Flood Abatement 101

Published on NewsOK Published: November 5, 2012

If you have to do it on your own, be aware that a surface can look dry while water is still contained underneath. Humidity sensors are available to help detect the amount of water in the air, and dehumidifiers can help pull water from the air to reduce moisture levels. You may need to cut out sections of walls, floors, or ceilings to remove damaged components and determine that the interior of the structure is dry; remember to use a stud finder to make sure you don’t cut into structural supports when you do this.

After the house is totally dry, you can assess electrical systems for any damage and check on the structure to determine what kinds of repairs may be needed. You may need to replace insulation and some structural components. Repainting and plastering may be required, and these must be conducted over totally dry surfaces, because any trapped moisture can contribute to the growth of mold which will be hard to eliminate when it is embedded under a layer of paint.

As you go through the flood abatement process, make sure to document with numerous photographs. These will be very important when you make an insurance claim to assist with the costs, or if you need to apply for emergency funds released by government agencies to help homeowners with flood damage. You may also find them useful in the event you sell your home and the buyers ask about past flooding history and request records on abatement procedures. Also keep copies of all your records including bills for materials, labor, and other costs associated with the mitigation, like bills for temporary housing if your home is unsafe to inhabit during the restoration.

There are some steps you can take to mitigate flood damage before it happens, including following building best practices in your areas like elevating your home, using coated and treated materials to resist water, and moving porous materials to high ground when a flood warning is issued to reduce the risk of damage. If you have a two story home, for example, consider moving furniture, rugs, and other soft furnishings upstairs for the duration of foul weather. Insurance agents and contractors are good sources of information on flood prevention and control.

s.e. smith writes for

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