Cleaning Up Your Home after a Flood

Cleaning Up Your Home after a Flood

Home Flood DamageFlooding can be devastating and can cause a lot of damage to a home. Whether flooding is caused by storms, ground water problems, or a broken pipe, it is important to clean and restore the home as quickly as possible after the flood in order to minimize mold damage and make the home safe for inhabitants. If your home has been flooded, take the following actions.

Turn Off Electricity and Water

Turning off the home’s main power supply can protect you and anyone else that will be entering the home. Turning off the water may prevent any further water damage from occurring, especially if the issue began with the home’s plumbing. If it is suspected that there may have been damage to the electrical lines, water lines, or any other utilities, contact the utility companies before entering the home to prevent injury.

Remove Items and Appliances

After the home is safe to enter, removing items and appliances that have not been touched by flood waters can help to minimize the amount of cleaning and restoration needed. Preventing items from getting wet or damaged will mitigate the costs associated with repairs and replacements. These items should be stored in a safe, dry place until the home has been completely cleaned.

Take the Water Out

As long as water is standing in a home, it is increasing the risks for mold and structural damage. Using a wet vacuum, buckets, mops, and towels to remove the water may take time, but must be done to begin restoring the home. If flooding is severe, renting a sump pump may help you to get the water out.

Dry the Area

After water has been removed, the area that was flooded still needs to be dried completely. Fans and a dehumidifier can help to dry the floors. Carpet and other types of flooring may need to be replaced if they have been saturated or damaged, as there may still be a mold risk. If drywall has been saturated by water, it may need to be cut away and replaced, as the integrity of the structure will be compromised and the paper backing will likely grow mold.

Disinfect the Flooded Area

Disinfecting the area is necessary to ensure the safety of home inhabitants. Cleaning with bleach will help to kill bacteria that may have spread from sewers or flood waters. Walls, floors, furnishings, and anything else that may have been touched by flood waters should all be disinfected.

Call a Restoration Service

A restoration service can help with salvaging items that you may have thought were damaged beyond repair which can save money and heartache. A restoration service can also help with removing and replacing damaged drywall and other structures. A restoration service can help you to ensure that your home is safe and free from mold and water damage after a flood.

If your home has been flooded, call Florida Catastrophe Corp. today to minimize damage and get your home back in order quickly.

Hurricane Restoration Tips

Hurricane Restoration TipsIn the aftermath of a hurricane, expediting recovery can help to get you and your family back in your home faster and reduce the amount of damage. It is important to follow certain steps, however. If you have been affected by Hurricane Matthew, the following tips may be helpful.

Make a List of Damages

It can be tempting to just dive in and start throwing things away and cleaning up when returning home or venturing into your yard after a hurricane, but this can hurt your chances of receiving adequate benefits from your homeowners insurance. Make a list of everything that was damaged, being as thorough as possible with descriptions and valuations. Take pictures and provide serial numbers and receipts if you can. Smartphone apps may help with inventorying.

Wait Until an Adjuster Visits to Make Changes

Even after you have finished making a list of all damaged belongings, structures, and landscaping, try to refrain from cleaning up unless the law dictates that you must. Allowing an insurance adjuster to see exactly what damages look like can help to ensure that any claims that you make go through. If you must discard belongings or if conditions are dangerous, take pictures of damages to show the insurance company and keep receipts from any materials purchased for the recovery efforts.

Call Restoration Specialists

Restoration specialists will be able to help you assess the damage and get your home back in order faster. Restorations specialists can help clean up debris from the hurricane so that you can safely enter the home and walk around the property. If demolition needs to be done, restoration specialists can help to with safe and careful demolition. They can also assist with all aspects of restoration.

Prevent Further Damage

Boarding up windows until they can be replaced, covering holes in the ceiling, and sealing leaks can help to prevent damage from worsening as you work to recover from the hurricane. Removing downed limbs and trees can also help to keep this loose debris from flying into the home and causing damage if winds pick up again. Cleaning up water as soon as possible can help to mitigate the damage to the home.

Dry and Disinfect the Home

After water has been removed from the home, there is still a potential for mold to form. Mold restoration specialists may be very helpful in assessing the potential for mold growth after a hurricane, removing items and structures that have been contaminated, and cleaning and disinfecting the home. This is important to ensure that the home will be safe over the long term and to salvage as many belongings as possible.

If you have been affected by Hurricane Matthew, call 855-352-2281to find out how we can help with restoration and recovery.

Hurricane Matthew Approaching Florida

Hurricane FactsA hurricane watch was issued Tuesday afternoon for parts of Florida on the Atlantic coast. As of that time, Hurricane Matthew was a category 4 hurricane with winds up to 145 miles per hour. The dangerous hurricane had already been inflicting damage across the Caribbean, with at least seven fatalities and untold damage to homes and landscapes.

The hurricane is not expected to hit Florida for at least 48 hours, so officials are urging Floridians to prepare now while there is still time.

Hurricane Matthew in Haiti

Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti hard on Tuesday morning, damaging many homes and uprooting trees in the area. One fisherman was killed and many of the shacks that serve as homes in the impoverished area were destroyed. The total damage has not been assessed yet, but many streets were flooded and residents were left seeking shelter as of Tuesday afternoon.

Storm Trajectory

The storm was moving north at about 10 miles per hour as of 11am on Tuesday morning. The storm was moving through Haiti and was expected to move through Cuba late Tuesday and early Wednesday. Computer models predict that the center of the storm will stay off the coast of Florida, but if the storm veers inland it could hit hard.

Florida is expected to experience the effects of the storm throughout the day on Thursday and into Friday. Hurricane Matthew could continue its path up the coast after that. As of Tuesday afternoon, there was a Hurricane watch in effect for the coastal area running from Deerfield Beach to the Volusia County line in central Florida. There was also a Tropical Storm watch in effect for the Florida Keys.

Government Addresses the Storm

Governor Rick Scott visited the city of Marathon to talk about the storm preparations on Tuesday morning. The governor said that there are 200 National Guard members standing by to help and another 6,600 guardsmen that can be deployed if necessary. Pat McCrory, the North Carolina Governor, declared a state of emergency for certain parts of the state that fall within the storms possible trajectory.

Additionally, President Obama has cancelled plans to visit South Florida on behalf of Hillary Clinton on Wednesday. A presidential visit would tie up law enforcement and lead to road closings that could affect the storm preparations. Non-essential personnel have already been evacuated from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in response to the storm.

Preparing for the Storm

Governor Rick Scott urged residents to evacuate the area early, before the highways become too congested. With the storm being listed as a category 4, with winds about 145 miles per hour and flooding potential, the storm could cause major damage even if it does not make landfall.

Some actions that you can take to prepare for the storm include:

  • Gathering emergency supplies such as water and non-perishable foods
  • Boarding windows to protect the home
  • Staying tuned to emergency alerts in the area
  • Preparing a bag with necessities to take if evacuation is necessary

While it can be tempting to stick around to protect your home, remember that restoration is always possible later. The most important thing is to stay safe.

Tornado Facts to Help You with Preparedness

Tornado PreparednessTornadoes are violent storms that can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. It may seem that tornadoes come out of the clear sky and cause unpredictable damage, but there are some signs and consistencies that can help you to be more prepared in the event of a tornado. There are also general safety precautions that can be taken so that your home and family are safer if a tornado strikes.

Every State Has Tornado Risks

Tornadoes are generally associated with the Midwest, so many homeowners on the East coast feel that tornadoes are not a concern. This false sense of security can be destructive if a tornado does occur. Tornadoes occur in response to increased sea surface temperature and increased moisture content, especially in cooler months. These correlations allow weather forecasters to predict tornadoes with some accuracy, although the path of the tornado may be difficult to predict.

Certain Signs Warn of a Tornado

Tornado warnings signs may vary, but can include:

  • Hail storms, especially with large hail
  • Low-laying clouds that are very dark
  • Dark skies, sometimes with a greenish cast
  • A loud roar
  • Debris and dust that appears to be suspended in the air

Seeking Shelter Is the Safest Option

Since the main danger of tornadoes comes from the high winds and the debris being moved by the high winds, seeking shelter is the safest way to avoid being injured. Stable rooms constructed with concrete, block, or brick are less likely to be breached by debris. It is important to avoid auditoriums, cafeterias, and other large rooms that have wide, flat roofs, however, as these may be moved by tornado winds. Basements and lower rooms provide the best shelter from the high winds.

Securing Your Home Can Reduce Damage

Taking the time to secure your home can greatly reduce the damage that occurs if a tornado does come through. Making sure that the roof is secured with hurricane clips and that the walls are secured to the foundation can mitigate damage. Moving large objects away from windows and storing heavy items and toxic chemicals in low and enclosed areas can reduce injury risks as well as home damage risks.

Having a Plan Can Increase Safety

Formulating an emergency preparedness plan can help to keep family members safe. Making sure that all family members know about local warning sirens and understand where to go in the case of a tornado can help to ensure safety. Having first aid supplies available and keeping important documents in water and fire proof storage containers can help to expedite recovery after a storm. Knowing who to call for restoration services can help to mitigate damage to the home caused by elements.

To find out how we can help you to be prepared for tornadoes, call us today!

5 Tips for Storm-Proofing Your Home

Storm-Proof HomeWhen it is sunny, there isn’t a place in the world that can beat Florida, but during a storm, the weather here is severe. Most of Florida averaged well over 50 inches of rain last year with quite a few areas averaging over 70 inches. That is Mother Nature’s way of telling you she will bring severe storms to Florida no matter what time of year it is.

Keeping Your Home Safe

Don’t be fooled by Florida’s “Sunshine State” motto — we average more than 100 days of the year with thunderstorms. No matter how much notice a meteorologist can give you, moving your home is not an option. You can protect your house against severe weather, keeping your family, your valuables, and your home safe.

Here are some ways you can safeguard your home from severe weather:

  • Window protection
  • Keeping your roof attached
  • Landscaping
  • Reinforcing your doors
  • Keeping your house high and dry

Protecting Your Windows

Your home’s most vulnerable and beautiful asset is your windows. Installing shutters may be an aesthetically pleasing option for you to consider that allows protection and keeps the elements outside where they belong. There is also impact-resistant glass available to you. If windows shatter, more than just property could be hurt or damaged.

Keeping Your Roof over Your Head

Severe wind and heavy rainfall will take years off of your roof shingles or just take your roof off. It is important to remember that you can add more bracing to your roof through the attic of your home for reinforcement. One option many Floridians have decided with is going with a metal roof. It is an incredibly low-maintenance option that has an expected service life of 40 years.

Lawn Maintenance Will Make a Difference

Keeping your lawn well-manicured will make a difference when severe weather strikes. Making sure all of your tree’s branches are far from your roof and power lines will eliminate severe hazards and costly damage. Hedging and bushes could also cause potential problems, so keep in mind that you may want any and all foliage away from windows, entry ways, and any other locations where they could cause damage or obstruct access.

Keeping Your Door on Its Hinges

Don’t let your door be the last thing you think of in severe weather. Check the weather stripping around your door to prevent leaks from heavy rain and strong winds. Make sure that your door’s hinges are securely attached to their frame and that the deadbolt works, as weather could potentially be strong enough to blow the door open. If your doors are older, you may want to consider reinforcing the frame with weather-treated wood.

If the Water Does Rise

Flooding is an expensive and real hazard all across Florida, but you do have options to keep your home dry. If you can’t afford to raise your home so that the bottom level is above the flood plane, you can have floodwalls and berms built to fend off rising water. You will also want to seal every part of your home tight with waterproofing composites and rubber sheeting to keep it dry.

You’re not alone if your home has taken a beating from severe weather. Contact Florida Catastrophe today and we will help you bounce back from disaster.

Tips for Protecting Your Business during a Hurricane

Hurricane ProtectionPeople in Florida are no strangers to stormy weather. Thunderstorms can be a daily occurrence and heavy rain and lightning do not really pose much of an inconvenience to Floridians. However, hurricane season often brings with it a touch of concern even for the most seasoned of storm veterans from early June to late November. During this period of potentially devastating storms, it is imperative to provide adequate protection and planning to preserve your business. Here are some tips to ensure that your business is protected during a hurricane.

Have an Official Emergency Plan

In order to effectively deal with any emergency, it is imperative that businesses have an official emergency plan that can be implemented quickly. In order to be implemented quickly, employees must be aware of it. Employee training is essential to a smooth execution of the emergency plan. If employees are unaware of a codified plan, the situation could become chaotic should an emergency arise. Effective communication prior to the hurricane can help prevent casualties as well as property damage.

Possible elements of an emergency plan could include:

  • An established evacuation route
  • An established “safety room” in the interior of ground floor
  • A protocol to dismiss employees given enough advanced warning
  • Obvious placement of first aid kits throughout the building
  • An emergency supply of food and clean water

Take Preventative Measures

In addition to an established emergency plan, other preventative measures may be taken to mitigate potentially costly damage to people and property. Preventative measures might include anything from protecting equipment to reducing flying debris.

The idea behind preventative measures is to minimize damage and reduce the time period between the disaster and the day when the business can resume normal operations. Reducing damage to electronics, protecting sensitive data, avoiding damage to the building, and protecting employees are all measures that strengthen the ability of a business to recover quickly from any natural disaster.

Other potential examples of preventative measures could be:

  • Trimming weaker tree branches that might break
  • Covering patches of rocks in gardens
  • Boarding windows
  • Turning off gas lines
  • Unplugging sensitive electronic equipment
  • Maintaining an up-to-date insurance policy

A Little Goes a Long Way

Natural disasters have been known to cripple underprepared companies due to property damage and an inability to conduct business. If these measures are followed both before and during a hurricane, the likelihood that the business will be able to resume normal operations immediately after is much higher.

Font Resize