The lovely town of Sandusky in Ohio, located on the shores of the great Lake Erie, often suffers from flooding due to rain and lake water inundation. Nearly 40% of all US homeowners have incurred losses from water damage, and your home is likely to have suffered from water seepage in your ceilings and roofs, decaying woodwork, corrosion, dampness and unpleasant stenches.
Being in a high flood risk area, you need to be prepared for any eventuality: come rain, hail or snow. Home restoration is an exercise that’s likely to burn a humongous hole in your pocket; so you may want to look at these DIY home restoration tips, recommended by experts.
- Do not Re-enter the premises unless a health and safety official gives you the green signal.
- Wear protective equipment, including rubber gloves and boots while re-entering your house.
- Disconnect the main power supply board and cooking gas supply to prevent electrical or fire hazards.
Contact your Insurance Company
The adjuster from your insurance company has a huge task cut out for him/her. You can do the pre-work for better accountability.
- Click clear photographs of all areas of your home affected by water damage, in all phases before, during and after clean-up.
- Make an estimate beforehand of the monetary values of the extent of water damage.
The adjuster will determine if it is a loss covered by the policy. Please note that not all home insurance policies cover flood damage. You may want to review the Flood hazard maps, aka Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) available at Erie County Office of Regional Planning in Sandusky, to determine whether your home needs flood insurance.
Locate the source of water damage
- Water contaminated by sewage (black water) is hazardous because of bacteria and organisms. In this case, it’s best you consult a professional for clean-up.
- If the water source is clean water or slightly contaminated “gray” water, such as due to breakage of a plumbing line, you may clean up on your own (provided you wear necessary safety gear).
- Water damage clean-up should be done 24-48 hours after getting clearance from a competent official.
- Clear all electricals, electronics, other trash and debris from the floor.
- Remove any soaked items from your home.
- Use a power vacuum to pump out stagnant floodwater.
- Open all windows and ventilators to direct dampness out of the house.
- Use fans, heaters, and/or dehumidifiers to accelerate drying, especially in hard-to-reach nooks and crannies of your house.
- Mold and mildew thrive in damp conditions, and can take hardly 24 hours to start blooming all over your property. Dehumidify and dry the house completely within 3-4 days to eliminate the risk of mold.
Check for Mold
- Remove and destroy items affected by mold ASAP, to avoid further spreading and health risks.
- Use dehydrating agents like silica gel to dry up small enclosed areas such as wall cabinets and table drawers.
Repair and Restoration
- Check the extent of water damage in your home. You may need to shift your loved ones to a temporal shelter.
- Most water damage repairs involve floor, walls, ceiling, doors repairs or replacements. This is best handled by a competent home restoration professional with expertise in water damage.
- Remove and restore the damaged drywall (in part or entirely). Use caulk for better protection.
- Post-reparation touch-ups like repainting, restoring plumbing and electrical systems can be handled by restoration experts or by yourself, depending on the extent of damage.
Prevention is better than cure: Get your house evaluated by a professional at least once a year for signs of water damage to your property. This extra step will save you money in the long run.