Hurricane Harvey – What should you do after extensive flooding?
The south of the Texas region was severely hit by Category Four: Hurricane Harvey causing thousands of residents to evacuate due to mass flooding. An estimated 156, 000 properties were damaged by extensive flooding leaving behind thousands of displaced families.
Most of the houses that had been flooded were affected by black water. Black water is highly contaminated and often contains sewage, bacteria and harmful chemicals that are extremely unsanitary. Therefore, it is crucial to proceed with a meticulous decontamination and a thorough drying procedure following such a disaster.
Excessive floodwater is often mixed with raw sewage. This highly contaminated water upon entering the property, requires immediate removal and sanitisation. Affected floor coverings and sub-floors need to be removed and disposed of. Sub-flooring needs to be assessed by a professional to determine if it is salvageable or not. Residual organic matter in cracks and crevices of salvageable materials, on the other hand, are normally cleaned by flushing with a cleaner/disinfectant solution.
Detailed cleaning & specialty cleaning agents must be applied after removing heavy organic soils and contaminants. The process involves thorough cleaning of the interior before applying any specialist cleaning agents.
Thorough inspection will determine the extent of water migration and will help to create a plan to dry and restore both affected building and contents. Some contents may be salvaged with the use of our state-of-the-art contents cleaning equipment and trained contents specialists.
The evaluation of the building materials will indicate to us the degree of contamination. This will help us form a restoration plan to thoroughly clean, sanitise and dry the building structure. Our trained professionals are aware that older home’s building materials may contain asbestos. Therefore, extra care is taken and appropriate tests are conducted to ensure no asbestos containing materials are disturbed – or are safely removed if unrestorable. Juvenaire also has a team of asbestos specialists that are able to safely remove the asbestos containing material and dispose them at government approved sites.
It is important that moisture and humidity be reduced as much as possible by introducing air movers and dehumidifiers. These specialist drying equipment help to increase the rate of drying. This process can prevent mould growth if employed as quickly as possible after a water inundation event. The above-mentioned information is to be used as a guide only and we highly recommend this procedure to be carried out by restoration professionals.
Hurricane Irma – How to get ready for a Hurricane?
Our experts have also seen that a new storm, Irma, has been strengthening into a category three storm threatening Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic as well as the East Coast of the United States including New York.
It is very important for the residents of these countries/cities to get prepared so they can minimise the risks of damages due to strong wind and heavy rainfalls.
Juvenaire has established a list of recommendations to follow before any storm warnings:
– Check the condition of the roof and repair loose tiles and eaves
– Clean gutters and downpipes so water can drain away as quickly as possible
– Trim trees and overhanging branches
– Secure loose items that could cause damage with high winds (gardens and balconies)- Move personal documents, irreplaceable items to a higher floor
– Raise electrical items and any white goods- Identify where and how to turn off the mains supply for water, power and gas
– Prepare an emergency kit (including drinking water & food, phones, medications, clothes, torch & battery powered radio)
– Take photos of your property and contents
– Ensure that your home, car and contents insurance policy covers you for flooding
– Complete the emergency contact card and keep it with you
Weather events can be very destructive and the recovery process can take months if not years. Juvenaire set an office up in Airlie Beach to support residents as well as insurance companies to restore the whole area after Cyclone Debbie. Six months have passed since the storm and our team is still involved restoring the properties affected.
It is essential that restoration professionals carry out any work related to flooding as it can lead to serious mould issues and affect your family’s health.