How to dry out a flooded house
AFTER the recent heavy rains caused significant flooding in Cape Town and in the
Western Cape, many home and business owners may find themselves
dealing with damp, soggy buildings and furnishings.
According to many disaster recovery experts the most important thing to
consider before going into a building after a flood is safety. If you had a
significant amount of water, then you should call a qualified electrician to
check whether the connection is safe.
Home owners and tenants should also be aware that if flood water comes
from a river, it could contain contaminated water. Bacterial content isn’t
necessarily an issue, but it could be. Surfaces can be disinfected with a
solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.
Once a flood has subsided, the house must be dried out as quickly as
possible as mould will start to grow within 48 to 72 hours. Carpets, pads and
furniture that were submerged should be removed and drywall that was
soaked should be cut out and discarded.
And while it is helpful to leave windows and doors open when using fans to
dry out a building, they should be kept closed when using a dehumidifier. If
humid outdoor air is allowed to enter the home, the dehumidifier will be
fighting against the relative humidity outside. A dehumidifier in a closed
room can reduce the relative humidity.
If a house is not dried out quickly enough and mould begins to grow, the
owner should take steps to eliminate it. You will need to physically remove
the mould by scrubbing it off.
Stay alert for mould or any signs or odours indicating the presence of mould.
When in doubt, get a mould expert to test your home for the presence of