Each year, floods cause billions of dollars in property damage. For those that may encounter floodwaters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the infographic Be Ready! Floods. This downloadable PDF provides valuable information on how to prepare your home for a flood.
The agency also provides the following suggestions to prepare a home for a potential flood:
• Make sure to secure or protect any hazards in the home before the flood strikes.
• Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before evacuating. Also turn off gas and water supplies before evacuating and secure structurally unstable building materials.
• Buy a fire extinguisher if there isn’t already one in the home. Make sure the family knows where it is and how to use it.
• Buy and install sump pumps with back-up power.
• Have a licensed electrician raise electric components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring) at least 12″ above the home’s projected flood elevation.
• For drains, toilets and other sewer connections, install backflow valves or plugs to prevent floodwaters from entering.
• Anchor fuel tanks which can contaminate the basement if torn free. An unanchored tank outside can be swept downstream and damage other houses.
• Bring outdoor possessions, such as lawn furniture, grills and trash cans inside or tie them down securely.
For those that do sustain flood damage to their home, there are a number of potential environmental hazards to be aware of for when it is time to return to the property to assess the damage and begin repairs. Water damage or excessive humidity in a structure can allow mold to begin to grow in as short as 24 to 48 hours. Floodwaters could also introduce sewage and chemicals into the indoor environment. In addition, many older homes still contain lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials. These can be easily aerosolized during cleanup, demolition and rebuilding efforts if not handled properly.
If you have sustained damage from a flood, contact Memphis Mold Inspector today to learn how we can help.