Were you surprised to learn about the hidden dangers lurking under floodwater in your home or business? Well, you might also be surprised to learn of how can flood damage affect your home too.
The aftermath of water damage in Naples, Estero and Marco Island can be overwhelming. Every single surface that has been in contact with floodwater will need decontaminating and sanitizing – from floors and ceilings to soft toys and furnishings.
Bacteria can start to grow in standing water within hours and floodwater can transport a wide range of different diseases. Therefore, all surfaces that have been in contact with floodwater must be thoroughly cleaned before it is safe to reinhabit your home.
Flood water contains human and animal excrement, chemicals, petrol, and other toxins. It is extremely dangerous. Not only can it make you sick, but floodwater can also cause open wounds to become infected if it comes into contact with skin. These same bacteria will be deposited across every surface the floodwater has been in contact with so thorough decontamination and sanitation is essential. Decontamination and sanitation is only half of it. Floods can be devastating to a house.
If your property isn’t thoroughly dry within 24 – 48 hours after being hit by a flood, then mold will start to grow, bringing with it its health concerns. Carpets, plaster, dry lining, and wallpaper among other organic materials are the perfect breeding ground for mold spores. And once mold spores have established, they need nowhere near as much moisture to continue colonizing.
You are well-advised not to touch electrical appliances or your fuse box when returning home after a flood, especially if there is still standing water present. And nothing electrical should be touched until a qualified electrician tells you that it’s safe to do so.
Carpets and Flooring Damage
Water damaged carpet is incredibly difficult to clean. If it has been wet for over 24 hours, the likelihood of mold already growing in it is extremely high. Affected carpet must be removed as soon as you can to minimize the impact it has on the flooring underneath, particularly wooden floorboards which can begin to warp and rot.
Hardwood flooring, however, is likely to fare much better. Nevertheless, be prepared to remove sporadic boards to allow neighboring boards the chance to swell and expand without warping. Any padding underneath the flooring is likely to need replacing.
Tiled flooring may get away without permanent damage. But you may still need to take up the floor, or part of, to allow the materials and base underneath to adequately dry. Bear in mind, however, that the sealant or grout may have been affected and require replacing.
Be careful if you have natural stone flooring. While it may visually look unscathed, it can begin to show signs of damage months after the event.
Plaster and Drywall Damage
If you have plaster walls and ceilings, they are much more likely to escape permanent water damage. However, you will probably need to remove the plasterboard to allow the affected walls and ceilings to dry thoroughly.
Depending on the severity of the flood, your house can come under a lot of strain and pressure from floodwater. It can push against the sides of your house, weakening its structure, particularly if it has an active current or waves. The continual movement of floodwater not only puts your house’s structure under constant strain, but it deposits sediment around the building, which only contributes to the pressure being suffered.
Never underestimate how dangerous floods are and just how much water damage they can do to your home, even if the resulting damage doesn’t appear to be too bad on the surface. You cannot see bacteria and pathogens that make you sick. And without adequate personal protective equipment and following adequate health and safety precautions, you are putting your health at risk if you attempt to clean up floodwater yourself.
Water damage emergency caused by a flood is always best handled by qualified and experienced water damage professionals like DG Cleaning and Carpet Care LLC who not only have the knowledge and expertise to deal with such situations but who also have the water damage drying equipment needed to fully dry, clean and sanitize your home.
See our Emergency Water Damage Drying and Cleaning Services page for more details on how disaster recovery and hygiene specialists can help.