Take Care When You Repair

Flash floods are the #1 weather-related killer in the U.S. according to the National Weather Service; the geography and topology of Utah makes floods very difficult to forecast. Even if you and your Logan home are safe from the moving water, you face some difficult clean-up. We at Sierra Restoration want to provide any information to help you repair damages in any flood crisis.

Hidden Dangers from Floods

Floodwater can contain dangerous bacteria from overflowing sewage and agricultural and industrial waste. The waters have a high likelihood of containing, animal feces, hepatitis C, and the E-Coli bacteria and should be handled as if it were raw sewage. Entire rooms, vehicles, and any other property that came in contact with flood waters may not be salvageable. Flooded homes can develop mold problems weeks or months later.

While skin contact with floodwater doesn’t pose a serious health risk by itself, any exposed cuts, scrapes, or breaks in your skin can allow dangerous bacteria into your body. And of course, eating or drinking anything contaminated with flood water can be a serious health hazard. Although it might look like a simple water cleanup, hire a professional remediation team to properly protect your home and family.

The Damage Is Deeper Than It Looks

Flood damage is typically not confined to only the physical area that was touched by floodwater. Above the horizontal line of water damage, a border area was affected by “water wicking.”   When moisture creeps up the sheetrock and other porous building materials, it allows bacteria to be absorbed up the wall.

Create Flood-hardy Walls

After a flood, you can make some changes during the repair. Use the opportunity created by redoing the walls to raise the electrical wiring, switches and outlets– ideally moving them to a height above the flood level in case bad luck strikes again. A flood-hardy wall is one that can stay in place during the flood and require only cosmetic restoration – cleaning and painting, not replacement of materials. Use flood-damage resistant materials to create a flood-hardy lower wall section with a horizontal gap. It is designed so flood water enters and drains freely from the wall. Gaps at the top and bottom of the floodable section of the wall must be wide enough to allow flushing (to remove silt and contaminants) and air circulation (to dry the materials before harmful fungi and bacteria take hold).

Interior walls can also be made more flood-resistant with some simple interior finish alternatives:

  • Use paperless drywall (fiberglass mat gypsum) or create wainscoting with plywood or fiber-cement panels.
  • Place the material 4-5 inches above the finished floor, and cover the bottom gap with a wide, removable baseboard.
  • Leave a small gap between the lower and upper wall-finish material, and cover that gap with chair-rail molding.
  • Use only latex paint to finish the wall. Do not use wallpaper on the lower wall.  

Exterior walls can present more challenges because they typically contain insulation and exterior sheathing. The most flood damage-resistant thermal insulation is high density foam. The factors that make it great for insulation ALSO make it great at holding dirty water after a flood.  There are other materials and methods that can be used to improve the water and moisture resistance of the wall even further. Ask experts in water damage for the best suggestions to prevent another future mess.

Local Flood Damage Experts in Logan

When your Logan home or business suffers from flood damage you may want to consider contacting a local flood damage cleanup company, like Sierra Restoration. Make sure you hire a professional company that is fully licensed to handle all the cleanup and reconstruction work that may need to happen after a water disaster.

Have questions or concerns related to flood damage or water damage disasters? Give the team at Sierra Restoration a call!

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If you have a question or would like to request a free estimate, please contact us using the form below.
If this is an emergency, please call (435) 563-4007 for 24/7 service.
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