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8 Things to Consider When Remodeling Your Property After a Disaster

From the hurricanes in the southeast to fires in the west and tornados in the Midwest, disaster can strike anywhere in America. Structural damage and water damage can be caused by wind, hail, tornados, and other natural occurrences. After the disaster comes the recovery.

Recovering from the disaster comes in two forms – clean up and remodel. Given how fast mold forms after water damage, you have to act fast and make some calls. When you are already in a stressful situation, you might be unclear of how to handle remodel and repair. From the insurance company to a repair contractor, there is a lot to a remodel. You might even be taking this time to upgrade! To help in this situation, here are things to know when remodeling after a natural disaster.

 

1. Insurance Can Help 

After flooding, water, or wind damage, you might be facing significant structural damage. Local officials might even stop you from reentering your home. Proper cleanup might involve special equipment to handle water damage and fire hazards. While figuring out the cleanup, contact your insurance company. Keep in mind other people will also be in this situation after a disaster so insurance companies and contracting companies will be busy. The sooner you initiate the process, the better it will be for your remodel.

 

2. Fire Risk and Water Damage 

Depending on the type of disaster, the damage and subsequent risk will look different. Standing water after a hurricane or flood actually poses a fire risk. This is due to the potential electrical short in appliances and internal wiring. Water also means mold formation. Mold risk increases over time, especially if it is not completely removed in the cleanup process. If authorities allow you to reenter, rescue personal items. Be prepared for the contractor to take time to fully clean and remove mold and mildew before starting the remodel job.

 

3. Start from the Ground Up 

The remodel after a disaster is an opportunity to repair the home for the better. If you have a basement, this is a good place to start. A remodel is a good time to create a moisture-free basement or foundations. It includes perimeter drainage tiles, sump pumps, a French drain, and complete water removal. Floodwater damage can be extensive, so you might have to rip out drywall, flooring, and insulation. To completely remove water, starts with a moisture-free basement and work from there.

 

4. Interior Walls 

If a hurricane or flood brought water damage, be wary of potential contaminants. Affected materials need to be removed and replaced. Contaminant risks means everything needs to be deodorized with an antimicrobial to tackle any microbes. Walls will need to be stripped to the frame. If future water damage is possible, like in the basement or walls, take this time to fortify with water-resistant materials. A contractor can advise on alternative materials that will perform and sustain better in future disasters.

 

5. Strengthen Flooring

Depending on the type of flooring you have, you could be facing a variety of options in the remodel process. If you have carpet, you are facing a difficult process in drying and repairing the floors. Often, the carpet will need to be dried and cleaned, and sometimes completely replaced. At this point, it is a good idea to use a water-resistant flooring type during the remodel. Tile is typically better with standing water after flooding. Carpet, laminate, and hardwood do not perform well with water.

 

6. From the Window to the Wall

In many instances, a lot of the damage harms the exterior of the home. Flying debris, tree limbs, water, and wind can really test the exterior of the home. The damage might lead to necessary remodeling for broken windows and damaged walls. Windows can be replaced with hurricane-rated windows and other resistant, strong windows.

Any potential structural damage to the exterior structure might require remodeling as well. Brick exteriors typically hold up well, but adding water resistance to brick is a good idea. If the exterior is badly damaged, you can remodel with more resistant materials. If done correctly, exterior walls can stand up to the next disaster.

 

7. Roof Remodel   

One of the most important things to fix after a disaster is the roof. A qualified roofer can help advise on appropriate roofing materials when remodeling. If your roof did not survive a disaster, you should consult an expert to avoid this in the future. Different areas of the country benefit from different types of roofing. For example, in the hurricane-heavy southeast United States, flashing is essential. This is where the roof connects to a vertical structure. If this is done poorly, water can get inside the home and cause damage.

 

8. Take Your Time

After a disaster, you might feel ready to rush into a remodel and get your home back on track. This is not a good idea. Taking the time to consult with experts, use the right materials, and allow for high-quality work will help you in avoiding this scenario again. After a disaster, the best materials and contractors will be in high-demand. Wait for the right materials and the right company. All Dry USA can advise on remodeling, and help you get your home back into shape.

Ben Suiskind

Chief Executive Officer at All Dry USA
With Ben’s knowledge, and visionary leadership, All Dry USA has expanded into a national, full-service property damage restoration company with multiple locations across the United States. Ben holds numerous specialty licenses and certifications in restoration and construction.
Ben Suiskind

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