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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Should I Know about Clearing My House after A Flood Damage Incident in Destin?

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO restoration equipment drying water damaged flooring Storm season in Florida is year round. SERVPRO has the expertise to restore your home.

Removing Damaged and Undamaged Materials from Your Property Is Not Easy, but Your Local SERVPRO Can Help Ease the Process 

Dealing with flooding incidents at your Destin home is not a pleasant experience. Apart from the financial losses such incidents cause, the cleanup, and restoration that follows involve backbreaking work. Removal of contents and even some parts of the structure is standard procedure to allow thorough cleaning. Flooding also damages some materials irreparably, which also necessitates removal. Most people focus on restoring the house, so they overlook the removal of items. 

What typical issues lead to irreparable damage to materials? 

Although different incidents of flood damage in Destin have unique outcomes, the factors that cause permanent damage to materials are common in most cases.    

  • Exposure to contaminants
  • Heavy soiling
  • Overexposure to moisture 

In most cases, the physical properties of the material exposed to floodwater determine the level of damage. For example, porous and semi-porous materials including fabrics, and wooden furniture, are heavily damaged when there is a flooding incident at your property, unlike non-porous ones such as plastic. The water damage can be physical degradation or deep penetration of undesirable substances, which eliminates the chances of effective cleaning. 

How do you distinguish unsalvageable and salvageable materials? 

Since all materials or contents have some value or use, you are inclined to save them whenever possible. However, it would be unwise to retain items with residue damage or overestimate the level of flooding damages in Destin, thus throw away something useful. Our SERVPRO technicians consider several factors to distinguish what is salvageable and what is not. Some of the common factors we consider include: 

  • Changes in physical traits
  • Deterioration of finishes
  • Exposure or release of hazardous materials from within a material

Most organic materials, including wood and its derivatives such as drywall, exhibit signs of physical deterioration such as warping, swelling, or even crumbling when exposed to significant moisture in a flooding incident. In case of swelling, we can reverse the damage through highly controlled drying procedures such as the use of drying chambers. Other types of wood damage such as warping or buckling, are permanent, so removal is the only option. 

Some of the materials around the house have harmful substances within their structure, and exposure to water or high levels of moisture can lead to the discharge of such substances. Alternatively, the process of removing materials to facilitate cleaning or other restoration processes release hazardous substances. For example, the glue holding a glued-down carpet in an area such as a basement might contain asbestos. Our technicians evaluate all materials affected during flooding to establish whether they might contain harmful substances for safe disposal. 

What would complicate the removal of materials? 

Whether you want to remove items to pave the way for restoration processes or because they need replacing, several factors can complicate the exercise. Typical factors that complicate the process include: 

  • Finding a place to hold items after the removal
  • Finding a way to dispose of the unsalvageable items
  • The process of moving materials to the disposal point
  • The likelihood of destroying good materials when removing the damaged ones 

In most cases, our SERVPRO technicians find a safe storage place within the structure for salvageable items. We can clear out a room on a higher floor or other elevated section of the property to serve as the storage point. In severe flooding incidents, we arrange for move-outs to a storage facility away from the damaged home. We find ways to hold them around the loss site for unsalvageable materials until we finish the cleanup process without littering. Apart from bringing resources such as large trashcans and heavy-duty plastic bags to hold waste, we also prepare some of the waste for storage during removal. For instance, we cut the pad into small square pieces making it easier to fit in the trash receptacles for disposal. 

Damaging contents or building materials during removal or movement happens for many reasons. However, improper handling or using the wrong tools are the most likely reasons. Our technicians receive training on proper handling, especially when lifting heavy or bulky items. Simple techniques such as bending at the knees first, then at the hip, and pushing with the legs when lifting heavy items make a huge difference in facilitating the safe transfer. We also have a wide array of tools, including pry bars, awls, and rubber hammers. Such tools help with safe disassembly of fixtures like countertops and parts of the structure such as wall panels as well as door and window trims. 

Clearing out your Fort Walton Beach, Mary Esther, or Niceville house to facilitate the restoration of flood damage can be challenging. Call SERVPRO of Fort Walton Beach at (850) 863-2552 to help. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

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