Information to have on hand in case of a flood.
This was shared with me after Harvey. It is worth repeating.
- What To Do Before Throwing Out Your Furniture
- Texas Muck Map
If your house got flooded during the storm, then it might need to be mucked. Mucking means activities like removing wet carpets, flooring, drywall, mud, or other items to prepare a flooded home for drying out and renovations.
• Put the AC on Low, about 66 F. This will help draw out moisture from your house.
• Make sure you have large black garbage bags for trash. There will be a lot.
• Purchase a few cheap Floor Fans ($20 each) and one dehumidifier. Let them run for weeks along with your ceiling fans. Get to Home Depot ASAP.
• The city will pick up any trash you put on the street but it will take a good while. There will be large piles in your street for weeks.
• You can purchase small “Dumpster Bags” at Home Depot for wet sheetrock and insulation or put it in garbage bags. They have a hard time picking up wet sheetrock that is not bagged but they can and will do it. If it is a big job, rent a dumpster.
• You can hang clothes and linens on your fence outside to dry and wash them later at a friend’s house.
• If you want to save furniture and let it dry out, put it in the back yard in the sun.
• If you have Tile Floors, this is a good place to store household items and furniture while you deal with wet carpet and wooden floors. Flooding does not hurt tile floors usually.
• Slice up the wet carpet and padding in strips that you can roll up and carry to the street. If you have flood insurance, save a 1-foot square piece.
• Some wood floors survive a flood. Not many. You can wait a few days to see how they make out. Most will buckle and warp. Interior doors may also survive but will “swell” until they dry up.
• Remove the carpet “Tack Strips” with a small pry bar but wear shoes and wear gloves. The nails here are very, very sharp.
• Clean the bare concrete floor with bleach/soap and a mop then let it dry. Every square inch of the first floor will have to be mopped sooner or later.
• To remove sheetrock, take off the baseboards (some people try and re-use them), light switch and plug outlet covers first. Baseboards are not a lot of money.
• Most people cut sheetrock ~49 inches from the floor so you can put in new 4 x 8-foot sheets later. Try and get all the sheetrock and insulation out in the first few days or green and black mold will grow.
• Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can sometimes survive a flood unless they are particleboard.
• If you do see mold, it wipes off with bleach/soapy water and a rag. Let the brick backer board and 2 x 4 studs dry and then spray on a product called “Mold Control” sold at Lowes. You will need a hand pump sprayer. “Mold Control” is better than bleach to stop mold from coming back. This also must dry before putting in new insulation.
• There is often wet insulation around your built-in shower. You can get to it from the bedrooms sometimes. You can often get to wet insulation by cutting sheetrock in the garage.
• There will be wet insulation behind some kitchen and bathroom cabinets. You can get to it by cutting out the back panels inside your cabinets. You can repair this later with new panels. You can also drill small 1-inch holes in the back panels to lets the insulation dry. Place a fan here to blow air. (second-best option)
• Flood insurance does not pay for lawnmowers. Dump out all the oil and gas. Remove the spark plug and pull the rope a few times. Turn it upside down and let it dry out a couple of days. Replace the oil, gas, and sparkplug. It may or may not startup.