Homeowners in cities like Houston that are prone to flooding, high humidity, and heavy rain know the added struggle it is to care for a home. Changing weather patterns make floods one of the most common hazards in the United States, even in landlocked cities like Dallas, Bryan, Austin and the surrounding areas. On top of standard home maintenance, water in your home can set you back much quicker than the rain came in. Here is how the experts at Garland Insulating recommend you handle flood damaged insulation:
- Assume the floodwater is contaminated: It is highly possible that the water seeping into your home hosts contaminants such as: fuels, oils, raw sewage, dissolved salts, microbes, and mold.
- Remove flooded drywall: Mold can begin to grow on your walls within just a few days. Since mold cannot be properly removed on porous materials like drywall, you must cut away the dry wall and completely remove it.
- Clean wet items: Non-porous items should be cleaned with detergents; while porous items should be disposed of if they cannot be thoroughly dried within 24-48 hours.
- Keep an eye out: Even after the flooding and cleaning process has passed, it is still probable mold could begin growing in the near future. Mold you may not notice initially can be hidden in the walls and floorboards. Be sure to stay alert of any odors or health effects associated with mold.
Preventing More Damage
Unfortunately in Houston, flooding doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Waiting for the damage to be done just to clean it up again is no way to live. Here are some steps you can take to flood-proof your home:
- Install spray foam insulation: Spray foam not only helps minimize cooling and heating costs, but can be used as a water-resistant barrier. Spray foam insulation is a flood damage-resistant insulation and deflects moisture away from your home.
- Prevent wicking on interior walls: Damage from shallow floods often goes beyond the area touched by the floodwater. To prevent water wicking, create gaps in the wallboard and other porous building materials so that the wicking ends at the gap. If a flood occurs, you will then only need to replace your flood damaged insulation below the gap.
- Install easily removable insulation: Some flood damaged insulation is easy to remove. Insulation such as fiber-glass batts can be immediately and easily removed after the flood. If you’re building a house on a floodplain, make sure you consider your insulation options carefully.
- Move electrical outlets to above flood level.
After a flood, the best thing you can do is contact a water damage specialist. If you live in the Houston area, or your home is prone to water damage, you may want to consider spray foam insulation. For more tips on insulation, or to get started with your free home-assessment, contact Garland Insulating today!