The worst of Hurricane Sandy hasn’t hit so far today, but I’m sure you’re already thinking about what will happen if water gets into your house. Here are some tips to help you through the aftermath.
Soaked carpet? The best move is to call in professionals for a deep cleaning and drying with air movers. If my friends at Action Carpet are all booked up after the storm, I recommend that you rent a wet carpet cleaner to clean the carpet and then suction the moisture back out. Do this ASAP before any mold or mustiness has a chance to form. Area rugs dry fastest if you hang them up but, if they’re too big for this, you can attach a vacuum hose to your vacuum or shop vac’s exhaust, stick it between the rug and the carpet pad and let the warm air lift the carpet to dry the rug and padding.
If your walls or ceiling got wet, you may or may not need a professional to help out. Once it dries, assess the damage. Is the surface still smooth aside from some discoloration? In that case all you need to do is give it a coat of Kilz brand primer before you repaint your ceiling. This step will keep the stain from bleeding through the new layer of paint.
Sagging, wet, moldy drywall is a health hazard, as well as an eyesore. This needs to be cut out and patched.
If your basement flooded, one thing you might not think of is the damage this can do to your hot water heater. Sure, you can just relight the pilot once the water goes away, but moisture can damage important working parts as well as the interior insulation. Any parts that have been immersed in water are suspect and damage to the insulation can be a serious fire hazard. Contact a plumber immediately to make sure that everything is in working order.
If your yard floods, your first step is doing nothing. Wait for the soil to dry some and STAY OFF of the muddy ground. All this moisture compacts the soil and walking on it will only pack it down harder and tear out grass buy the roots. Once the yard isn’t muddy anymore, you’ll want to aerate the compacted soil for better drainage. If soil has eroded you’ll want to replace it, and it’s not winter yet, so you can still get some grass growing to hold your soil in place for the winter and prevent future erosion. Sprinkle new seed ASAP so the root system can get a good start before the ground starts freezing.
If you want recommendations for any professional help in repairing your home after the hurricane, just call me and I’ll put you in touch with someone you can trust.