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5 Surprises About Fixing a Flooded Home

By  | Aug 29, 2017
flooded-homes-houston
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hurricane Harvey is still going strong, with torrential rains expected to pummel Texas well into Wednesday. So far, the storm has taken 14 lives, left countless more injured or homeless, and has everyone wondering: What will it take to repair the damage and devastation that Harvey has left in its wake?

While cleanup efforts can't really get under way until the storm has passed, remediation companies in the surrounding areas are poised to spring into action once the flood waters have receded. Only what, exactly, will these companies do? To fill you in, here are a few surprising facts about fixing a flooded home.

1. A flooded home can be fixed

Despite what you might think, a flooded home can be saved rather than razed to the ground, but removing the moisture quickly is key. "The biggest thing is getting in there and getting it cleaned up quickly," says Robyn Kent, claims administrator at Dalworth Restoration, based in Euless, TX. "Closer to the three- to five-day mark is when it becomes questionable, since by then, all the materials have become fragile."

2. You'd be amazed what can be saved

"Using truck-mounted vacuums with 2,000 horsepower, and dehumidifiers, we can extract moisture from furniture, hardwood, tile, even Sheetrock," Kent says. Even electronics like TVs and laptops may still operate after a thorough drying. "In fact, when carpet gets wet, people think it's ruined, but it actually ends up stronger than when it was made," Kent says.

3. Mold, not water, is the real problem

"One of the biggest problems—especially in Houston in the summer—is going to be mold," says Tyler Drew, a Los Angeles real estate agent and investor. "The longer a house sits with water, the worse the mold infestation. Affected areas have to be removed, the wood and concrete treated with anti-mold agents, and all of this has to be done after the house is sealed, in order to prevent the infestation from spreading and sickening people."

4. Repairing a flooded home will cost you

"Drying off a 2,000 square-foot house in normal conditions may cost over $2,500, while in situations like Harvey is producing, the job scope expands quickly—and so will costs," says Peter Duncanson, director of operations and safety with ServiceMaster Restore.

While flood insurance may cover the cost of repairs, you should make sure you have the right kind (more on that next).

5. Homeowner insurance doesn't cover all floods

"Although federal flood insurance is very inexpensive in areas not prone to flooding, most owners do not take out this insurance," says Bruce Ailion, a Realtor and attorney in Atlanta. "In the past, the government bailed out these people, but that is far less likely to happen today."

And even if you do have flood insurance, you should make sure what is covered. "Many people don't realize their homeowner insurance doesn't cover rising water," says Kent. In other words, "some flood insurance will cover rain water if it comes through your roof, but most of the time, it won't cover water rising in your home, like what's happening in Texas, unless you ask for it specifically."



Darik Steinbach Headshot
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Phone: 952-239-4290
Dated: August 30th 2017
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About Darik: I have been selling residential real estate in Minneapolis full time for 10+ years. I constantl...

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