The state of Florida is in the throes of hurricane season. Right now, people across the state are busy putting their lives back in order after Hurricane Irma. Unfortunately, heavy rain can cause significant flooding in neighborhoods, and homeowners may find themselves dealing with damp, flooded homes and common areas as a result. Home association board members and their Tampa property management company should have a plan for tackling water damage if flooding is an issue in the community.
In this two-part article, we’ll provide you with helpful tips to pass on to your residents. Feel free to skip ahead to part two.
Understanding Types of Water Damage
The type of water damage you’re dealing with will determine how it should be cleaned. There are three types of water:
1. Clean Water
Clean water is easier to clean and results from an overflowing appliance or leaky roof. It should be cleaned promptly to avoid mold and mildew.
2. Gray Water
Gray water may be contaminated depending on the source and how long it has been left unattended. This can occur from a toilet or washing machine and can become hazardous if microbes have formulated.
3. Black Water
Black water is the most hazardous and occurs as a result of natural disasters or a sewage backup. Black water may contain toxic material, chemicals, and bacteria.
Call Your Insurance Company
Review your insurance policy to find out what is and isn’t covered. Identify your damage and call your insurer right away. If your home has experienced a flood, file a flood insurance claim and a Proof of Loss to support your claim. You will need to document your damage by separating damaged from undamaged property. To present evidence to the adjuster, you will need to make a list of what is damaged and take photos of the items. Include receipts or dates of purchase and the value of each item.
Dry the Home
The home can be dried out in several ways. Using a fan is the simplest way to get air circulating in the home. Be sure to open your windows. Next, you can use a dehumidifier to remove embedded moisture by pulling it out of your walls and floors and to reduce humidity in the home. Keep your windows closed when using a dehumidifier. You can also run your HVAC system to dry your home by doing a cooling and heating cycle several times.
Like drywall, you want to prevent mold and mildew issues elsewhere in the home. It’s critical to dry everything quickly since mold can germinate in as little as 48 hours. Wash all of your upholstery or send items to the dry cleaners. Avoid storing items in plastic bags and allow them to air dry instead.