Two homes in the same town may be affected by a flood, but the resulting water damage could vary tremendously. Minor damage could include a little water seeping through basement windows or floor drains overflowing slightly.
Of course, far more severe damage could also occur. Let’s explore some of the worst possible effects water damage can have on your home after a flood.
Rampant Mold Growth
While mold is important for breaking down dead things in nature, it’s the last thing you want in your home. After a flood, it takes just 24 to 48 hours for mold to start growing on water-logged items. This can include everything from clothing and toys to carpet and drywall.
Mold doesn’t just damage your belongings and the structural integrity of your home – it could even be toxic to your health, causing breathing problems and allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Without a fast response following a flood, rampant mold growth could take over your house and, in extreme cases, cause the structure to be condemned.
Black Water Contamination
The type of water that can flood your home is divided into three categories:
- Category 1 is clean water from sanitary sources.
- Category 2 is grey water from home appliances that could make you ill if you ingest it.
- Category 3 is black water from extremely unsanitary sources that could contain human or animal waste. All floodwater from lakes and rivers is treated as black water. This water contains pathogens that could make you severely ill if you ingest it.
It’s possible to remediate a home with black water contamination, but it’s the most difficult to recover from. You’ll likely lose all your furnishings and may need to replace much of your home’s structural components. Contracting tetanus is a real possibility when cleaning up black water, so vaccinations are highly recommended for anyone helping with the remediation.
Damaged Wiring, Gas Lines, and Appliances
During flood cleanup, no matter the severity, you should always turn off electrical and gas services to avoid electric shock or gas leaks that could cause an explosion. If wiring and/or gas lines are damaged in the flood, rewiring and installing new gas lines may be necessary to get your home back up and running. This could leave you without utilities for an extended time.
Even a few inches of water in the basement or crawlspace could be enough to damage your appliances beyond repair. The cost to replace the water heater, furnace, air conditioner, washer, dryer, range, and other appliances could be prohibitive to your recovery efforts.
Moving Becomes the Best Option
If your home is completely submerged in floodwater, remediation and repair costs could easily exceed the cost to move. Wind and water could shift or warp your home’s struts and studs. Saturated earth pressing in on the foundation could cause it to crack. Tilted walls or a shifted roof could even lead to a collapse. Inside the house, sagging ceilings and soggy drywall might not be salvageable, especially if mold starts to grow.
Even if you completely repair a home with this much flood damage, you would still need to completely refurnish it and install all new appliances and fixtures following the repairs. In extreme cases like this, starting from scratch may be the only option.
Recover from Flood Damage with Our Help
Clearly, floods can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. If severe water damage has you wondering what recovery will look like, your quick response gives you the best chance of recovering your home.