Let’s bone up on fixing a flooded Nebraskan home. According to VOX, “A massive deluge of rain and melting snow from a “bomb cyclone” and other recent storms continues to inundate several Midwestern states including Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska.”
“The flooding has killed at least three people and caused at least $3 billion in damages so far. Rising water levels have breached levees along the Missouri River and forced several towns to evacuate. In southern Minnesota, flood impacts spread over the weekend, according to MPR News.”
“Some residents of South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have been stranded for two weeks as already poor roads were blocked by floodwaters. In Nebraska alone, the flooding has already caused more than $1 billion in damages, with more than 2,000 homes and 340 businesses lost.”
Soon the waters will recede, remediation companies in the surrounding areas will spring into action. Only what, exactly, will these companies do? To fill you in, here are a few surprising facts about fixing a flooded home.
Despite what you might think, a flooded home can be saved rather than razed to the ground, but removing the moisture quickly is key. “The biggest thing is getting in there and getting it cleaned up quickly. Closer to the three- to five-day mark is when it becomes questionable since by then, all the materials have become fragile.”
“Using truck-mounted vacuums with 2,000 horsepower, and dehumidifiers, we can extract moisture from furniture, hardwood, tile, even Sheetrock. Even electronics like TVs and laptops may still operate after a thorough drying. “In fact, when carpet gets wet, people think it’s ruined, but it actually ends up stronger than when it was made.”However, it is not just the moisture. Flood water generally contains mud, bacteria, sewage, and chemical toxins. This is because flood water often causes the disruption of water purification sewage disposal systems, as well as the overflow of toxic waste sites and chemical spillage.
Realtor.com says, “One of the biggest problems—especially in Nebraska in the summer—is going to be mold,” says Tyler Drew, a Los Angeles real estate agent, and investor. “The longer a house sits with water, the worse the mold infestation. You must remove affected areas, and the wood, and concrete treated with anti-mold agents. You can see for yourself if mold has infested your house.”
“Drying off a 2,000 square-foot house in normal conditions may cost over $2,500, while in situations like Nebraska is experiencing, the job scope expands quickly—and so will costs,” says Peter Duncanson, director of operations and safety with ServiceMaster Restore.
While flood insurance may cover the cost of repairs, you should make sure you have the right kind.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is almost certainly not. The vast majority of homeowner’s insurance policies distinguish between water damage and flood damage, covering losses caused by the former and not by the latter.
If you live in a high-risk flood hazard area and have a mortgage from a federally backed or insured lender, then the distinction between water damage and flood damage is moot; you already have flood insurance as a condition of your mortgage. If, however, you do not have flood insurance, you will have to consider alternative means of financing the fixing a flooded home.
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