5 things to consider before moving back into your flooded home

27Jun13

Our hearts and thoughts are with all of our friends and clients that have been affected by the recent floods in Calgary. We are completely overwhelmed at the destruction mother nature has caused in our beautiful city. If your home had the water damage limited to the basement, there are a few things to consider before you move back in:

1) It is important to make sure that all belongings and building materials that have been flooded are removed from the house. All flooring, cabinetry, fixtures and framing that have been submerged should be removed. If you are considering a new layout for your basement with the rebuild, it might be a good idea to remove the ceiling drywall as well. This way your contractor will have a fresh start in the new space and all electrical and mechanical will be exposed for the rework.

2)Once the demolition is complete, it is a good idea to pressure wash the whole basement (be careful to keep debris from going down the floor drain as it will plug easily). After that, spraying heavy layer of household bleach will sanitize the space and will reduce the likelihood of mould or contamination. A pressurized garden sprayer works great for this. Mopping the floor with a bleach/water mix also works well.images

3) You want to get airflow in the basement once demo is completed. Since all of the submerged materials have been removed, anything that will hold the humidity is no longer in the basement. A few household fans with the windows open will dry thing out pretty quickly.

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4) It is important to replace the furnace and hot water heater before moving back in. As soon as the gas valve in either appliance is submerged, it will never work properly again and will certainly be a safety issue. Also, with most houses having sewage backing up, its not worth the risk of having the water or air supply compromised with reusing affected mechanical equipment.

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5) If any portion of your electrical panel was submerged, all the breakers that have been flooded will need to be replaced. The panel itself should be fine, but we want to make sure the wet equipment is replaced. The flooded wiring can stay, but the outlets and switches that got wet need to be new as well.

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With the good weather and tons of help from friends, family and volunteers, many Calgarians will be returning home this weekend and it’s important to do so safely!

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