Water damage is undoubtedly one of the most expensive home emergencies that a property owner can experience. The cost of replacing damaged furniture and calling in a professional cleaner can be quite tremendous – and that just covers the initial expenses. Other things that need to be paid for include assessing and repairing the gas lines, electrical systems, and other structural damage.
Even with the utmost care and maintenance, water damage is not always preventable. Sometimes, natural occurrences such as storms and hurricanes can bring copious amounts of water that they inevitable enter properties and cause damage. When this situation happens, water damage is sure to follow. Fortunately, there are some measures that that people can do to their home or business establishments to minimize the effects of water damage in the event that it does happen. Although they may seem like an additional cost to the property owner, improving the resilience of the property is actually an investment that tends to pay off in the long run.
The truth is that some materials are more prone to water damage than others. For example, porous items such as fabrics and upholstery are more likely to be damaged because they absorb the moisture deep within their fibers. In addition to this, they are also harder to clean. In fact, most experts recommend that they be thrown out after prolonged exposure to water damage because it is impossible to disinfect them from germs, molds and other pathogens. Given this, one of the things that property owners should invest in is in the waterproofing of the structures. Oftentimes, the preemptive measures taken are less expensive that the repairs needed to be made in the event a flood occurs.
It is recommended that gypsum plaster, a common material used in buildings, be replaced with lime plaster or cement to improve the ability to withstand the effects of water. Even though gypsum plaster is less expensive, they are likely to corrode when submerged in water so they can significantly weaken the structure. When this happens, the repairs are not superficial but rather tend to include the foundations of the home or building. In extreme cases, the structure itself may need to be torn down and rebuilt from the bottom up. Thus, it is a good idea to use strong materials to prevent the stress of having to spend for reconstruction.
Another sound investment to make is to install window and door frames that can withstand the onslaught of a storm or other extreme weather conditions. Some materials to consider are plastic and hardwood. Homeowners who are on a budget when building their homes often do not consider these materials because they can be quite expensive. However, high quality frames do a good job in preventing water from entering the home or business in the first place. Common sense would dictate that the less water inside the property, the less damage can be done.
Finally, the flooring of the property should be given particular attention to. The reason behind this is simple: flooding happens on the ground level so the floor is the part of the house that takes the brunt of the damage. They need to be made extra strong in order to lessen the risk of having to tear out the damaged materials in order to replace them with new ones. To improve the quality of the floors, refrain from using wood and instead make use of modern alternatives such as tiles. Not only are they safe from warping and rotting, but they can also be disinfected quite easily. Mopping them with a solution of water and commercial cleaners usually is enough to restore them into conditions comparable to before the flooding occurred.
If the property owner still prefers to use wood materials, then another option can be investing in the installation of waterproof membranes that can increase their durability. They can even be used to flooring that is already water-resistant to increase their strength further. These membrane products can be applied on the floor and they will allow moisture to glide through the structure instead of being absorbed.
Water damage can be caused by the backing up of sewage material into the house. When there is damage to the pipe systems within the property or around the neighborhood, the water may find it difficult to flow freely, causing pressure to build up. The water will then find the most convenient outlet to exit and usually, this means that they go back out the way they came.
Because of the hazardous nature of sewage material which is full of germs and other pathogens, they cannot be cleaned by property owners. In these situations, the water damage would have to be handled by professionals who can charge an arm and a leg for their services.
The cost of conducting repairs for this particular kind of water damage can be minimized by the installation of a one-way valve. This is a term used to refer to a mechanical device that allows materials such as liquid and gas to move in one direction only. Upon installation, these valves work automatically without need of being activated so they are extremely convenient to use.
There are some locations where water damage is likely to occur. Lowlands or highly populate cities are more likely to experience flooding compared to other places. In these cases, property owners should invest in a device called a sump pump. A sump pump is used to prevent the accumulation of water in a particular location by continuously draining it. This device is installed in the lowest part of the home or establishment, which is usually the basement. Basements are ideal locations for sump pumps because gravity pulls the water towards the lowest parts of the house.
A sump pit or a hole that will collect the water is dug to contain the water that enters the house. Oftentimes, water found around the house is funneled into the sump put through the use of perimeter drains. In times of excessive rains, the water simply just reaches the sump pit. Once the water is collected, the pump then drains the water towards a safe location and effectively saves the property from inundation. Older models of sump pumps are connected to the sewage system of the neighborhood although this practice is now frowned upon because it can overwhelm the system and thus cause even more flooding to occur.
There are some additional features that can be added to the structure of the house to improve their resilience against water damage. For example, door guards, brick covers and skirting around the home or property can help manage the water that enters the house. The idea behind these products is to cut off the property from the floodwater. Although these items can only function up to a specified depth, they can be quite effective when used in conjunction with other waterproofing techniques.
In addition to the devices used to prevent water from entering the property, there are also those that are designed to lessen the dangers that occur after the water damage has occurred. When flooding happens, one of the dangers that property owners should be wary about is the possibility of a gas leak. A gas leak occurs when the natural gas pipelines are knocked out such as when there is an extreme weather condition. The result is the accumulation of gas in places where it should not be found.
Gas leaks are seriously dangerous situations because they can lead to fires and death due to prolonged exposure to contaminated air. Thus, one investment that property owners should make is a gas leak detector. These simple devices can be installed in the home or business and it will monitor the gas levels in the immediate vicinity and sound an alarm when there is an abnormality. In light of the benefits gas leak detectors provide in the event of water damage, they are reasonable additions into properties.
The fragility of electrical systems when it comes to water damage is undisputed. The wiring of the home can be destroyed just by mere contact to the floodwater. When this happens, the economic consequences to the property owner can be quite extreme. It is not unreasonable to expect for the entire wiring of the home or business to be reconstructed to prevent the risks of fire or electrocution brought on by faulty wiring.
To prevent this from happening, property owners should invest in modifying the electrical systems to improve safety. Take note that any changes done should be made by a licensed contractor that can guarantee that the work complies with all applicable building codes. When the decision to make alterations is made, expect that the electrical meter, circuit breakers, and fuse boxes are raised in the maximum height possible. Minimizing the risk of contact with the water translates to minimizing the damage done to them.
In addition to this, it is a good idea to invest in a modern breaker system that is capable of handling higher amperage. Compared to the dated fuse boxes, these devices are more capable of handling the requirements of appliances and can withstand the damage of water better.