Before You Start
Unfortunately, we’re all too familiar with flood damage— but that also means we know how to make the process as painless as possible. Before you do anything, make sure to cut off the power, gas and water before entering your home. We recommend having an electrician come out to assess your home if water reached above your outlets.
Next, document everything. Pictures are great and a narrated video is better. This will make the insurance claim process go smoother and quicker. Buy the right equipment to keep you safe from bacteria and mold. Rubber boots, gloves and a mask are a good start.
The Cleanup Process
Now you can begin the cleanup process, get started immediately on drying out your home. You want to protect your home from further deterioration due to mold and moisture. Clean out everything that’s been damaged. Your solid wood furniture should be able to dry but everything else should be tossed. In your kitchen, you should replace appliances that were in flood water as their electrical components can easily be damaged. Before taking them to the trash, document the appliance model number and serial number, these can be found in the door frames of most products. All of this will come in handy when dealing with your insurance claim and shopping for new products.
The next step is to demo your home down to the studs and concrete slab. You might be able to salvage some hardwood floors but most the time, floors and baseboards need to be replaced. Cut drywall a foot above the flood line and cut out, don’t yank, the insulation that got wet. Most homeowners will be able to do the demo phase themselves but if not, look for community groups to help or hire a professional.
Look for hidden flood water as well. Your kitchen cabinets or island can soak up water. Drill a hole in the toe kick and let it air circulate. This is a good time to check your cabinets as well. If your cabinets are made of solid plywood they probably don’t need to be replaced, you’ll still need to cut out the back to get to the drywall and insulation behind your cabinets. Newer cabinets, anything made past the 90’s, are usually not made of solid plywood and will most likely need replacing. Measuring the dimension of your space and having photos of your old kitchen will help you down the road with replacing your cabinets.
Also note, your base cabinets are generally the only cabinets damaged in flooding and insurance will only cover those. This becomes a problem when you go to replace because you won’t easily be able to match your upper cabinets. If you have a manufactured cabinet, look for a dealer that provides your brand for the best match. If you can’t find a match you might have to end up paying to replace your upper cabinets yourself.
Disinfect & Dry Flood Affected Areas
Next, you’ll want to clean and disinfect everything that touch flood water. A broom and shop-vac will do the trick. Wash down solid surfaces and when it’s relatively dry, clean everything with a disinfectant. Dry your home completely before you start to rebuild. This will take a couple weeks. Use a combination of area fans, turning up your AC and opening your house on dry days.
Begin to Rebuild
Keep calm, the process takes a while but you’ll get through it. As you make progress, stop by a Factory Builders Stores near you or reach out to us online with your model numbers. We can put together a quote for what your appliances are worth to give to your claim agent. When you’re ready for new appliances and cabinets, we’ll help you stay in budget with special pricing for disaster relief.