The name Irene has become infamous in the Hudson Valley as homes and businesses continue to recover from the devastating effects of the hurricane. Many people unaccustomed to such severe flooding are suddenly being faced with the consequences of water damage in their homes. If you are one of the unlucky homeowners plagued by flood damage, you should be wary of the dangers that result from water breaching your walls.
These risks include:
- Weakened foundations
- Shorted out electrical systems
- Contamination of water and surroundings
Peak Construction was very active with its water damage mitigation efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irene. Of the roughly 20-25 jobs that Peak’s team started directly following the storm, 15 involved water damage and flood.
One House, Two Floods in Goshen
One such mitigation job, in Goshen, NY, was exceptionally complicated. Because the home was on low lying land, it took 5 days for Peak to access it after the initial damage. The relatively new home (only a few years old) was flooded with 4 feet of water. Every room on the lower floor was completely damaged and the home’s air conditioning units were ruined.
Immediately after arriving, Peak installed drying units to help get rid of the massive amounts of water. This took about 5 days to complete. Unfortunately, the house flooded again in a smaller, subsequent storm, which forced our mitigation team to start from scratch. The second dry out took 10 days in total.
Protecting Your Home from Flood Damage
In the case of the home in Goshen, NY, it was built on low-lying land and wasn’t elevated, so drainage was the key issue. The two incidents of heavy rain directed the water towards the home, making flood prevention an arduous task.
Homeowners can take a variety of steps to better prepare themselves for destructive rain storms. It’s important to make sure the basement is properly sealed, as is providing adequate drainage either outside or inside the home. Outside, an affordable solution is the installation of solid, clean gutters to help promote better drainage so water doesn’t find its way into the home. A curtain drain is another good outdoor solution for channeling water away. Indoors, you can install an interior drainage system that will connect to your sump pump and prevent standing water from accumulating.
Of the many mitigation assistance jobs resulting from Hurricane Irene, the most common problem for homes in our coverage area was sump pump failure due either to a power outage or clogging. Fortunately, the homes that suffered sump pump failure were usually covered by general home owner’s insurance, as opposed to the homes with flood damage due to another cause. By providing backup generators to sump pumps, the risk of failure decreases significantly.
Lastly, if you do find standing water in your home, attempt to remove it as quickly as possible. Wet Vac’s can help remove a substantial amount of water in the interim, until a Peak Construction technician can access your home.