Floods are nothing to scoff at in Southern Florida. They are always a possibility throughout the year. When most people are talking about flooding during the hurricane season (June 1 – November 30) communities throughout Naples, Ft. Myers, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Miami think about it every day.
In fact, a University of Miami study found that Miami Beach flooding has spiked over the last ten years due to high tides and heavy rains, and it’s continuing to rise. Before we get into the top five mistakes that people make when attempting to clean up flooding in their homes or offices, it’s important to note that the biggest mistake of all is that they don’t prepare themselves for when such an events happen.
For instance, is your insurance up to date? Do you know the escape routes through town? What significant numbers have you saved in your phone? Do you have the contact information for a water damage restoration company such as Just Floods? That may be the first number you have to call. Have it readily available so that when destruction happens YOUR call is the first call we receive.
Mistake #1: Waiting Too Long Clean Up the Flood
The first 48 hours after a flood are crucial. That’s when the greatest amount of damage happens to your property in the shortest amount of time. Let’s break it down:
- If your home is completely submerged, then the destruction could be total. At the very least you’ll be facing structural repair and a complete overhaul of the inside.
- All the primary systems could be damaged. Systems include gas lines, wiring, plumbing, furnace or HVAC system, and the septic system.
- Walls and structural damage may have occurred. Ceilings may be sagging.
- Carpet or other types of flooring could be completely damaged.
In a nutshell, the longer the water sits, the worse the situation will get. Many of the items in your home can be treated and repaired in a relatively short period if it’s taken care of immediately. So if you’re considering ‘waiting it out,’ you might want to have to rethink your game plan.
Mistake #2: Walking Into a Hazardous Environment
If you’re going to make an assumption about the condition of your home, then it’s better to assume the worst. If there is standing water on the floor throughout the interior, then it’s a safe bet, there’s a hazard beneath the surface. Hazards do not just come in the form of injury. It’s entirely possible that there are also health and sanitation issues that have developed throughout the house. Some of the greatest hazards within the property are:
- Electrical shock caused by due to wiring.
- Sanitation issues from broken plumbing or septic systems
- Unstable framework and flooring
- Debris such as metal objects and glass could be under the water.
- Bacteria, mold, and other contaminants from food and chemicals.
- Areas where you could slip and fall.
- Busted gas line fumes leaking throughout the house.
In other words, your home has now turned into a potential disaster area. Instead of taking chances, it’s best to contact a professional company that inspects the area for you.
Mistake #3: Using the Wrong Flood Cleanup Tools and Techniques
Common household cleaning items such as mops, brooms are towels good for small floods are small areas where there may be a bit of standing water. If we’re talking about standing water throughout the house, however, then none of that will be very useful. Let’s say you have three to six inches of water standing somewhere in your house like the first floor or the basement. By the time you clean it up, which will take several hours, moisture and mold have already begun to set in. Your feeble attempts to soak up the water with rags, or pull the water out of the floor using a shop vac will not get the job done.
Professional water restoration companies have industry-grade equipment that can clean and disinfect an area in a fraction of the time that a home or business owner can do it himself or herself. Technicians from Just Floods utilize water pumps that can suck out the water minutes and begin the drying process immediately. Professional companies also have equipment that detects water inside the walls and underneath surfaces that a homeowner will miss. All equipment, tools, and cleaning solutions are specifically designed to clean up, dry, and disinfect your entire property on the inside. When they complete the work, there is no doubt that you will be 100% restored.
Mistake #4: Ignoring the Details of the Flood Cleanup
Let’s face it. You don’t know what you don’t know. What most homeowners see is purely on the surface. They don’t think about all the tiny details of cleaning up a flooded area. Water is like air: it gets into everything and has the potential to destroy everything it touches. So about the time you think you’ve cleaned up every detail, there’s always something that you forgot. In some cases, it can be dangerous.
For example, you’ve scoured the drywall, sucked all the water out of the flooring, and bleached out your white carpet. A few hours later you decide to plug your TV back into the wall, and sparks fly while you’re suffering from electric shock. You forgot to check the outlets to see if they were dry or damaged. The truth is, it’s impossible to know the extent of damage that water causes. Sometimes it doesn’t even show up until weeks later when there’s a smell in the house, and nobody can figure out where to locate it. Or you may enter a room and wonder what that black stuff is on the walls.
Water remediation professionals are trained to inspect every detail of a home when cleaning it up and drying it. Rather than looking at the flooring, they’re thinking about the subflooring. Instead of cleaning up the outside of the furniture, they’re prepared to handle the damage inside. Rather than just clean the baseboards, they’re ready to deal with what’s behind the baseboards. They leave nothing to chance because they know that something always gets left behind. If you forget the details, then you haven’t cleaned up and dried up the mess. You’ve just delayed the inevitable.
Mistake #5: Waiting Too Long To Call a Professional Flood Cleanup Company
Where many property owners make mistakes is in trying to clean up a flood in their house. Then they attempt to dry it out by opening windows, taking furniture outside in the hot sun, and turning on fans everywhere. While this technique may provide some instant relief, it won’t necessarily solve the real problems that have yet to occur. By the time they’ve come to the realization that they didn’t quite clean up the house, it may be too late. Then they call a water damage restoration and cleaning company and expect miracles to happen.
Professional water remediation companies, however, can only do so much if a situation a house is beyond cleaning or repairing. Sure, they can get the job done, but you may find out that it will cost you three times as much to achieve the results. The primary lesson here, as with all the other mistakes mentioned above is that taking chances will almost always lead to an adverse outcome.
The odds of you or your family cleaning up a flood promptly, using the right equipment, and paying attention to every detail are stacked against you. If you’re trying to save money, then your best bet is to call a cleaning company immediately. Yes, it’s an investment you weren’t counting, but it’s an investment that will payoff. You’ll get the results you’re looking for less than half the time, with professionals who can ensure that your home interior will be fully restored.
If you are looking for a water damage and cleanup service in the Miami, West Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, or Delray Beach area, then contact Just Floods at (888) 315-3011.