Storms and hurricanes are scary, but they happen, and it’s only a few weeks since Hurricane Ian made its way through the country, wreaking havoc on property and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.
Even though the hurricane did not affect Etowah directly, the residents still experience storm and flood damage every once in a while.
This article provides storm and flood damage cleanup ideas in Etowah County and everything else you should know.
We will also answer frequently asked questions about storm and flood damage cleanup.
Do It Yourself Flood Cleanup & Restoration Tips
Doing it yourself is a cheap alternative, but you must know what you are doing. Before starting work yourself, learn more about flood damage cleanup. Here are some basic guidelines.
- Check the damage – There are many factors to consider: water depth and temperature, the structure’s strength (attic, basement, foundation), building materials (wood, brick), and room integrity. Take a photo of the damaged area before cleaning up – it will help assess the situation later.
- Remove wet materials – this is a crucial step because wet materials can be heavy and cause additional damage if not lifted properly.
- Dispose of flood waste – if the damaged items are wet and contain hazardous materials like petroleum products, chemicals, or cleaners, you must dispose of them properly in a container.
If it’s dry debris that you can’t burn, put it into a garbage bag in order not to add more trash to your yard. Avoid throwing your garbage bags near storm drainage systems or local waterways.
- Drying out a flooded building: This may be the most critical part of flood cleanup as it prevents water damage.
There are different ways to go about doing this. If you can achieve sufficient ventilation, drying out a building is relatively easy.
Keep some fans switched on and windows open but remember to put materials in a dry place after the process.
- Dehumidifiers: This is a prevalent option because it’s relatively inexpensive. The humidifiers will not blow the air but suck it out, and as for their volume, they are an excellent choice for small spaces – basements, attics, or small rooms.
- Sump pumps: Another popular way to dry out a building is by installing sump pumps. The sump pump removes water and debris from your basement through drainage lines.
Don’t forget: If you do any work on your home, make sure to carry out proper safety measures as well! Ensure you follow safety precautions and code requirements and use protective equipment (such as breathing masks) while working in your home.
Professional Flood and Storm Damage Cleanup
There’s no denying that the most challenging part of cleaning up after a storm or hurricane is getting rid of the flood waters.
Flooding can be devastating, but there are steps you should take to help minimize damage to your property and decrease your stress levels.
The most effective one is hiring professionals to come in and clean up the water because they have all the necessary equipment to dry out your home, so you don’t have to spend hours on end mopping.
There are several things you should remember when hiring professionals:
- Ensure they have the capacity and equipment to clean up flood damage and remediation. Hiring a general contractor is not recommended.
- Look at their experience and customer feedback before hiring them for the job.
- Get an estimate first to help you make a decision right away.
- Don’t hire unlicensed contractors. Unlicensed contractors lack the necessary skills and are likelier to cut corners to save money. This will not cost you more but may also compromise your insurance coverage.
Services Offered by Professional Flood and Storm Cleanup Companies in Etowah County
Hiring a professional to do the work usually costs more than doing it yourself, but the peace of mind you get after your home is clean will go far.
The following are some of the services that professional companies offer.
This is a crucial step as it will determine what equipment and cleanup method you will use. The sooner the damage is assessed, the better. Usually, contractors offer 24-hour damage assessment after a storm or flood.
Water removal and dehumidification
Water extraction is very effective for flooded basements, attics, garages, and crawl spaces.
The professionals will use dehumidifiers and heaters to get rid of the water. Dehumidifiers will suck the moisture out of the air, while the heaters will dry everything out.
This is another critical step because it can ruin the structure of your home and may lead to mold growth if not taken care of properly.
Removing the water and mud is needed so that your walls can be repainted and you can get rid of harmful materials.
Aside from removing excess water, mold removal is another essential step you should remember after hiring professionals for the job.
Mold can multiply quickly in damp areas like basements, so you must get rid of it ASAP, or it will damage your property further down the line. It may also cause or worsen existing health conditions.
To ensure that the moisture in your home isn’t spreading, the contractors must dry out the structure. It’s not enough to just open windows because doing so will let the moisture escape into other rooms.
You may also need to remove any plantings or exposed wood. Hire a contractor who gives clear instructions on how to do this.
Remediation and deconstruction
In some cases, cleaning companies hire experienced contractors with specialized equipment trained in remediation and deconstruction processes. The specialists offer a more efficient and effective way of cleaning up your property.
If you go through flooding, there is a big chance that bacteria and other microorganisms will contaminate your home.
To prevent infections, the contractors will disinfect every room in the house. Even if the flooding was not that severe, the spreading of disease is still.
The team will disinfect all contaminated areas, so your home won’t be susceptible to any illnesses.
After cleaning, professional companies will remove everything affected by flood damage, including furniture and household items. They will also remove leaves and extra debris because they can cause additional damage.
Hiring professionals for flood cleanup is not something you should put off for later. Having your contractor come in will save you time and energy because they can efficiently remove water from your home’s nooks and crannies.
The professionals will also remove all unwanted materials from your property so that you won’t have to go through the hassle of doing it yourself.
So, if you want to avoid the hassle of cleaning your home yourself, then you should call the professionals.
How Can You Prevent Storm and Flood Damage from Happening Again?
The best way is to implement structural flood prevention measures. This may include:
- Raise the grade of your foundation or build a barrier around your house to deflect water away from it.
- Install proper drainage systems in your home, such as gutters, downspout extensions, and sump pump systems
- Place storm shutters on windows if you live in a hurricane zone.
- Replacing windows with hurricane-proof ones or adding additional weather stapes
- Use moisture barriers to protect framing and foundation from dampness and rot.
Hiring a professional will give you peace of mind. Your flood cleanup won’t take too long, and the professionals will get all the water and mud out without needing to touch your walls or ceilings.
They will also disinfect every room in your house, so there is no risk of contaminating other parts of your house. You can also keep on paying energy costs until the specialist fully restores your home to its original state.
Hire the Best Storm and Flood Damage Cleanup Company in Etowah
You cannot stop storms and hurricanes from happening, and sometimes it’s impossible to prevent them from damaging your home.
But you can hire an effective flood damage cleanup company in Etowah to help you clean up and restore your property as quickly as possible.
Elite Fire & Water Restoration specializes in emergency response and storm and flood damage cleanup services.
Our Etowah flood damage cleanup company is licensed, bonded, and insured. You can be sure that we are qualified to help you with your flood cleanup or other emergency restoration services.
Our Services Include:
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Water Damage Restoration
- Sewage Damage Cleanup
- Flood Damage Cleanup
- Mold Removal, Cleaning & Sanitization Services
- And more!
We’re available 24/7, and our experts work at highly competitive rates that are industry-leading.
We also have a full range of professional equipment on-site to speed the process up even more.
With our experienced and friendly staff, you won’t have to worry about anyone damaging your house during the flood cleanup process.
Contact us today at 205-644-5149 or through our contact form. We will come to your home within 24 hours, and our crew can work on most jobs as quickly as possible.
- Remlap, AL
- Blount County, AL
- Cullman County, AL
- Etowah County, AL
- Jefferson County, AL
- St. Clair County, AL
FAQs on Storm and flood damage cleanup
Q: What can I do to prevent mold and mildew?
- First, ensure your home is dry and ventilate it, so it breathes.
- Seal cracks around your doors and windows with caulk or weather stripping.
- Prevent any standing water in your yard by taking care of all leaks.
- Eliminate moisture with a dehumidifier and keep a sponge by the kitchen sink to wipe up spills as they occur.
- Also, check air conditioners for proper drainage and ensure enough ventilation in the rooms where you keep your valuables.
Q: How can I be safe regarding storm and flood damage with my insurance company?
Call your insurance company to determine if restoring electricity to your home is safe. They will help you prioritize restoration and ensure the work is performed correctly and completely.
You can also discuss your options for having your damage covered through a flood or windstorm with an agent during this conversation.
If you have had a flooded or damaged home, be sure to talk with a company about what types of insurance may be available for you in the future.
Lastly, let your insurance company know about any damage that has occurred asap, so they can begin putting a claim together for you and setting up an inspection as soon as possible.
Q: How can I protect my belongings when a storm or flood comes to my home?
You can do three things to protect your items from getting. First, move all your valuables to a dry location on higher ground.
Next, wrap up these items carefully in plastic bags. Finally, seal off the room. You can board up the windows or seal them with plastic.
Q: Who are the people to call during a flood or storm?
You should call three people. The first is your insurance company, then a company specializing in the after-disaster cleanup.
Lastly, but most importantly, call the emergency management agency in your area if the situation gets beyond control.
If you are in Etowah, Alabama Department of Environmental Management sets up an emergency contact for the same.
If the situation gets too bad, you will probably be evacuated and only return after city officials have assessed the condition of your neighborhood.
Q: How do I access your services?
It’s simple. Call us at 205-644-5149 or fill in the contact/request quote form, and our team will handle the rest.