Hurricanes and typhoons are always bad news. They bring nothing but strong winds, heavy rainfall, inevitable property damage, and a risk to people’s lives. Downed trees and electric posts litter the streets after gusty winds have blown through a town. But even when the winds are gone, flood water often stays. And it can possibly do so for days. This can leave roads, vehicles, buildings, and homes submerged in flood water.
Flooded homes aren’t a rare occurrence, unfortunately. This is especially true for tropical countries such as the Philippines. Countries classified as such are hit by typhoons almost all year round. But countries like the Unites States aren’t exempted from such undesirable instances as illustrated by the infamous Hurricane Katrina a few years ago. It is known as one of the worst disasters to hit the country. It was recorded to be one of the five deadliest hurricanes in American history; the costliest one as well. It left 80% of New Orleans under water. The damage was severe, and we could only hope that such a catastrophe would never happen again.
Hurricanes like Katrina may come only once in a long period of time, but hurricanes and typhoons do still drop by. And the odds of flooding are always there. When it happens to you, the family’s (including pets) safety is the chief concern. Once that has been secured, the worry over personal property comes next. The extent of damage on the home and which pieces of furniture and electronics can be salvaged are probably are some of the concerns on the minds of those affected by flood water.
With this article, I intend to guide you on how to clean up your house, restore your furniture, and to save electronics such as cameras, cell phones and iPods after a flooding. Hopefully, I can make the home restoration process somewhat lighter for you.
Getting flood water off of your home
Depending on the extent of the flooding, you can opt for any of the following:
- If only puddles of water made it into your home, straightforward mopping would obviously be sufficient.
- For anything more than that, a wet vacuum is ideal.
- You can employ the use of a sump pump if your basement is breached by floods. Bear in mind though that your basement is flooded, which means that you probably won’t be able to access the existing drains in your basement. What you can do is to utilize a long hose to affix to the sump pump so that you can get the flood waters away from your home.
You can then dry your home using a heater system (only if it wasn’t affected by flood water, of course.) Speed up the process by using fans to circulate air. Just make sure that the air is blown out of the room, instead of into it, to prevent mold and mildew from arising.
You would think that your furniture is now only good for scrap wood once it has been drenched in flood water. But it isn’t always the case; most of the time, it isn’t really that bad. Below are the steps to take in order to remedy your wet furniture.
1) Dry it, of course. If possible, let it bask in the sun. If not, put it in a room with good air circulation. You can also enlist the services of an electric fan.
2) Get rid of mildew. Black spots signal the formation of these. This means that water was able to penetrate into the wood’s finish. What you should do is to do away with the finish, clean the mildew with a bleach solution, and replace the finish with a new one.
3) Remove the white spots. If you see these, mix an equal solution of baking soda and toothpaste. You should then get a wet cloth, dip it in the solution, and rub it all over the white spots. Lastly, polish it dry using a piece of cloth.
4) Return the furniture’s veneer to good condition. Flood water may leave the veneer disfigured. To refurbish it, apply moisturizer to soak the veneer until it becomes flat again. Polish it dry after. You can then use veneer glue (with the aid of a syringe) to leave it looking like new.
Save your gadgets
You would most likely give up on your cell phone, iPod, or camera, when you see it come into contact with a good amount of water. But depending on the amount, you should never say “never”. That’s what Justin Bieber would say, at least. So assess the damage, and try these:
1) Turn the gadget off. This is imperative. Don’t try turning it on until it is COMPLETELY dry.
2) After doing as stated above, dry the gadget as soon as possible. I would recommend leaving it in a rice box/dispenser for up to a whole week, just to be safe. Don’t try to turn on the gadget beforehand; and your patience may reward you.
3) You could use a hairdryer if the water exposure of the gadget was only minimal. Keep in mind though that you should only be using the hairdryer’s lowest setting since higher settings may cause water to be pushed away into other areas of the gadget; thus possibly leading to worse complications.
Getting your home to the way it was can be challenging after being hit by floods; but you should remember that all is not lost. A bit of work, effort, and patience may be required in this endeavor, but I’m sure you’ll pull be able to pull through.