Repairing a home after hurricane or flood damages


Battling flooding in Waterbury, Vt. (AP) (GLENN RUSSELL/Associated ress)
August 26, 2011

Dealing with damage or floodwaters after Hurricane Irene? We have advice on how to dry out and make repairs. Here’s a sampling:

If your home was flooded with gallons of water — and it might well have been, with parts of the Washington area receiving up to 11 inches of rain — using a dehumidifier or fan to air out the space might not be enough to repair the damage.

“A lot of people try to take care of it on their own, but some people aren’t really good at it,” says Oscar Fletcher, former operations manager for Capital City Restorations in Montgomery County. He spoke with Denise DiFulco about storm-related flooding for a previous Local Living story. “They’ll open all the windows on a humid day when it’s still raining. That’s not going to help.” If your home insurance company hasn’t recommended a restoration contractor, you can find one through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, DiFulco suggests.

Jeanne Huber, author of our How To column, encourages readers to watch out for their health and safety while cleaning up.

“Investigate whether the floodwater is likely to be contaminated with disease organisms. If the water merely seeped through walls, you probably don’t have to worry. If it got deep enough to flood a basement toilet, you do. Wear gloves and boots, and make sure your tetanus shots are up to date,” she wrote in a previous column.

Delece Smith-Barrow

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