We have more than our fair share of natural disasters in Australia and if you are one of the many Queensland or New South Wales homeowners who have to deal with post-flood damage of recent times, it can be heartbreaking to see your home ravaged by floodwaters. Of course, your home insurance should cover the cost and you do need to contact your insurer as soon as possible and make sure to take lots of photos that clearly show the damage to your property.
Dealing with mould
Thankfully, there is black mould assessment available from a leading Sydney company, which will inform you whether this harmful pathogen is present. There are many types of mould and some are airborne, which presents a health hazard; call in the mould assessment team and let them carry out some tests. You might think that once the water is removed and everything has dried out, that would be the end of the damp problem, but in fact, mould can still be present in plaster and cement. The only way to be 100% certain you have no mould in your property is to call in a mould removal specialist who can carry out some testing.
The need for ventilation
It is important to open all the windows as soon as you can, as this promotes rapid drying; the flood damage team would have portable dryers to assist in the drying out of rooms. This is one of the first things that a flood damage company would do upon arrival, after making sure that the electricity is turned off. Ventilation not only dries out the building, it also helps to kill mould, which needs moisture to survive. Here are a few new homeowner tips, which might come in handy when renovating after a flood.
The best thing to do is take the furniture out of the house, if that is possible and make sure items are not standing on damp or wet ground, as the furniture would draw up the water. If the weather is good and the sun is shining, this can help furniture and other items to dry out.
This material can harbour pathogens and boards must be cut up to a distance of 50cm above the waterline, as damp soaks into the material and failing to remove damp plasterboard is certainly a health risk. Any wall insulation should also be removed, as this could also contain pathogens caused by dampness and once the clearing up is over, run a dehumidifier in each room for 2-3 hours to really eliminate the moisture.
Contact your insurance provider
Of course, there is a process to claim for flood damage on your property insurance and this should be started as soon as possible. Take lots of photos, which might come in handy later and check with the Australian government to see if you qualify for a grant. Keep all receipts and reports from contractors and make copies for yourself (the originals have to be sent with your claim).