How Do You Clean Flood Damaged Items?

In the wake of a flood, the path to recovery can seem daunting, especially when it comes to salvaging flood-damaged items. At Flood Department, we understand the emotional and financial value of your possessions. This guide is designed to help you navigate the cleaning process, restore what’s important, and minimize further damage. Let’s dive into the essential steps to clean and recover your flood-damaged items efficiently and safely.

Understanding Flood Water Categories
Before beginning the cleaning process, it’s crucial to understand the types of floodwater, as this determines the appropriate cleaning methods and safety precautions:

Clean Water: Originates from rain or leaky pipes. Items submerged in clean water are the easiest to clean and pose minimal health risks.
Gray Water: Contains significant amounts of chemical or biological agents (e.g., sump pump failures, dishwasher leaks). Items require thorough cleaning and disinfection.
Black Water: Highly contaminated water from sources like sewage backups or overflowing rivers. Items exposed to black water may be irrecoverable due to health hazards.

Safety is paramount when dealing with flood-damaged items. Wear protective clothing, gloves, and a N95 mask to protect against harmful contaminants. Ensure the area is well-ventilated, and never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia or vinegar to avoid toxic fumes.

Cleaning Non-Porous Items
Non-porous materials such as plastics, metals, and glass can often be salvaged. Follow these steps:

Rinse: Use clean, running water to remove mud and debris.
Disinfect: Soak items in a solution of 2 teaspoons of bleach per gallon of water for at least 10 minutes.
Dry: Air-dry items thoroughly. Using a fan can speed up the process but avoid direct sunlight, which can warp and damage certain materials.

Salvaging Porous Items
Porous materials like fabric, wood, and paper absorb water, making them challenging to clean.

Textiles: Wash clothes and textiles in hot water with detergent. Consider professional cleaning for valuable items.
Wooden Items: Clean the surface with a wood cleaner or a mild detergent solution. Allow the wood to air-dry slowly to prevent warping.
Paper Goods: Rinse and gently dab with a clean cloth. Air-dry or use a fan. Freezing can also prevent mold growth if you cannot dry items immediately.

Dealing with Electronics and Appliances
Electronics and appliances require careful handling. Do not attempt to turn them on if they were submerged. Consult a professional restoration service to assess and clean these items. In some cases, recovery might not be possible.

Preventing Mold Growth
Mold can swiftly become a problem, developing within 24 to 48 hours in damp conditions. To combat this and prevent mold growth, it’s crucial to maintain indoor humidity levels below 60% by employing dehumidifiers or air conditioners. Additionally, any wet insulation or drywall should be promptly removed and discarded to eliminate potential mold habitats. It’s also essential to clean walls and hard surfaces thoroughly using a solution specifically designed to prevent mold, ensuring that these areas remain free from mold spores and the health hazards they pose.

Document and Photograph Damage
For insurance purposes, document and photograph all damages before cleaning. Keep a record of the items cleaned and disposed of, as well as the cleaning methods used. This documentation is crucial for insurance claims and potential reimbursements.

When to Call Professionals
While many items can be cleaned using DIY methods, some situations require professional expertise, especially when dealing with hazardous materials or significant structural damage. Professional restoration services have the tools and knowledge to safely and effectively restore your home and possessions.

Cleaning flood-damaged items is a challenging but crucial step towards recovery. By understanding the type of floodwater, taking appropriate safety measures, and following the right cleaning procedures, you can salvage and restore many of your possessions. Remember, your health and safety and that of your loved ones come first. When in doubt, consult with professionals who can guide you through the restoration process.

Flood Department is here to help you recover from flood damage. With our expertise and compassion, we’ll work alongside you every step of the way to restore your home and possessions to their pre-flood condition. Together, we can navigate the aftermath of a flood and start the journey towards recovery.

Need Help With Clean Up?

At Flood Department, we’re committed to helping you recover from flood damage. We provide water damage repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses. We cover Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the unfortunate results. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.

Choosing the Right Water Damage Restoration Company

how to choose the right water damage restoration company

Have you been wondering how to choose the right water damage restoration company? Well you’ve come to the right place.

The aftermath of a flood can be overwhelming. You’re faced with the emotional toll of seeing your home or business in disarray, coupled with the urgent need to address the water damage and begin the restoration process. Choosing the right water damage restoration company is crucial, but amidst the stress, how do you ensure you’re entrusting your property to reliable professionals?

This is where building trust becomes paramount. By carefully selecting a company that prioritizes professionalism, expertise, and open communication, you can navigate the restoration journey with confidence, knowing your property is in safe hands.

Key Criteria for Choosing a Reputable Restoration Company:

  1. Certifications and Licensing:

Look for companies with industry-recognized certifications, such as those from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) or the Restoration Industry Association (RIA). These certifications demonstrate competency in restoration practices and adherence to industry standards. Additionally, verify that the company holds all necessary state and local licenses.

  1. Insurance Partnerships:

Many water damage restoration companies work directly with insurance companies, streamlining the claims process for you. Inquire about the company’s insurance partnerships and their experience working with your specific insurance provider. This can ensure smooth communication and efficient claim settlement.

  1. Customer Reviews and Testimonials:

Researching customer reviews and testimonials is an invaluable tool. Look for independent platforms like Google Reviews, Angie’s List, or the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to gain insights into past customer experiences. Reading positive reviews about professionalism, communication, and quality of work can provide valuable peace of mind.

  1. Transparent Estimates and Contracts:

Before any work begins, ensure you receive a detailed written estimate outlining the scope of work, pricing, and expected timeline. The estimate should be clear and easy to understand, with no hidden fees or surprises. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and clarify any uncertainties before signing a contract.

  1. Communication and Project Management:

Effective communication is essential throughout the restoration process. Choose a company that readily addresses your concerns, keeps you informed of progress, and promptly responds to your questions. Additionally, inquire about their project management processes to ensure clear lines of communication and accountability.

  1. Equipment and Technology:

Modern water damage restoration relies on advanced equipment and technology to thoroughly dry and decontaminate your property. Ask about the company’s equipment capabilities and their approach to utilizing technology to achieve optimal results.

  1. Mold Remediation Expertise:

Water damage often leads to mold growth, requiring specialized remediation techniques. Ensure the company possesses the necessary expertise and certifications to handle mold issues safely and effectively.

  1. Local Presence and Understanding:

Choosing a locally established company familiar with your area’s climate, building codes, and insurance regulations can be advantageous. They understand the specific challenges your region faces and can tailor their approach accordingly.

Building Trust with Flood Department:

At Flood Department, we understand the importance of trust during an already stressful time. We are committed to exceeding your expectations by offering:

  • IICRC-certified technicians with extensive experience in all types of water damage restoration.
  • Direct partnerships with major insurance companies to simplify your claims process.
  • Positive customer reviews across trusted platforms, highlighting our commitment to quality and service.
  • Transparent estimates and contracts with no hidden fees or surprises.
  • Open communication and dedicated project managers to keep you informed every step of the way.
  • Advanced equipment and technology to ensure thorough drying and decontamination.
  • Extensive mold remediation expertise to protect your health and property.
  • Local presence and understanding of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.’s unique needs.

We invite you to visit our website or contact us directly to learn more about our qualifications and how we can help you rebuild your home or business with trust and confidence.

Additional Resources:

By following these key criteria and considering the values embodied by Flood Department, you can make an informed decision and choose a water damage restoration company that prioritizes your needs and rebuilds your trust alongside your property.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Flood Mitigation

Homeowner's Guide to Flood Mitigation

Living in Eldersburg, Maryland, means enjoying scenic beauty and close-knit communities. However, it also means being prepared for potential flooding due to heavy rains, overflowing rivers, or even coastal storm surges. Floods can cause devastating damage, impacting your property, belongings, and emotional well-being. But by taking proactive steps towards flood mitigation, you can significantly reduce the risks and protect your home and loved ones. We’ve put together a homeowner’s guide to flood mitigation.

This guide provides valuable information and actionable steps to become flood ready:

Know Your Flood Risk:

The first step is understanding your flood risk zone. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides Flood Map Service Center, a user-friendly tool to determine your property’s flood zone designation: Knowing your zone helps you assess the severity of potential flooding and tailor your mitigation strategies accordingly.

Create a Personal Flood Plan:

Having a plan in place ensures swift and informed action during a flood event. Your plan should include:

  • Evacuation routes: Identify multiple escape routes considering potential road closures or blockages. Mark them on a map and practice evacuation drills with your family.
  • Communication plan: Establish a communication method to stay connected with family members during and after the event. Consider designating an out-of-town contact person.
  • Emergency supplies: Prepare a kit with essential items like non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, medications, flashlights, batteries, and important documents. Refer to the website for a comprehensive list:

Physical Mitigation Strategies:

  • Sandbagging: This time-tested technique can be your first line of defense against floodwaters. Remember, sandbags are temporary solutions and may not be appropriate for all situations.
  • Property elevation: Raising your home or critical utilities (electrical panel, furnace) above the base flood elevation can significantly reduce potential damage. Explore grants and assistance programs available through FEMA or state-level agencies to help offset the cost.

Insurance Considerations:

Standard homeowner’s insurance often excludes flood damage. Consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): Even if you’re not in a high-risk zone, flood insurance can offer valuable peace of mind and financial protection.

Additional Tips:

  • Inspect your property regularly: Look for potential drainage issues, seal cracks in foundation walls, and clear gutters and downspouts to prevent water accumulation around your home.
  • Install flood vents: These allow floodwaters to enter your crawlspace, which minimizes pressure on foundation walls and reduces potential damage.
  • Stay informed: Subscribe to local flood warning systems and monitor weather forecasts for timely updates.

Being flood ready is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. By implementing these strategies and staying informed, you can significantly reduce the impact of floods on your home and family. Remember, the Flood Department is here to help. We offer professional water damage restoration services throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. Visit our website or contact us today to learn more about our flood mitigation and restoration services:

Together, we can build a more resilient community prepared to face the challenges of flooding.

What Do You Do If Your House Has Water Damage?

what do you do if your house has water damage

Discovering water damage in your home can be a daunting experience. Whether it’s from a burst pipe, flooding, or a leaky roof, the aftermath can feel overwhelming. However, with prompt action and the right approach, you can mitigate the damage, safeguard your property, and restore your peace of mind. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do if your house has water damage.

Safety First: Before diving into cleanup efforts, prioritize safety. Turn off the electricity in affected areas to prevent electrical hazards. If the water damage is extensive or if you suspect structural damage, it’s safest to evacuate until professionals can assess the situation.

Stop the Source of Water: Identifying and stopping the source of the water is crucial to prevent further damage. Whether it’s shutting off the main water valve in case of a burst pipe or placing a bucket under a leaky roof, taking immediate action can significantly reduce the extent of the damage.

Document the Damage: Before you start cleaning up, document the damage for insurance purposes. Take photos or videos of the affected areas and any damaged property. This documentation will be invaluable when filing your insurance claim.

Contact Your Insurance Company: Reach out to your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the water damage. They can guide you through the claims process and may recommend water/flood remediation companies. Understanding your coverage will help you navigate the restoration process more effectively.

Start The Water Removal Process: Removing standing water is critical to preventing further damage and mold growth. For small areas, you might manage with towels and mops. However, for extensive water damage, consider hiring professionals who have the necessary equipment, such as submersible pumps and industrial-strength vacuums, to remove the water efficiently.

Dry Out the Affected Areas: Once the water has been removed, drying out the affected areas is paramount. Use fans, dehumidifiers, and open windows (weather permitting) to circulate air and reduce humidity. Professional water remediation services have commercial-grade equipment to expedite this process, ensuring thorough drying.

Clean and Disinfect: Water damage can introduce contaminants into your home, making cleaning and disinfecting a crucial step. Non-porous surfaces can be cleaned with water and detergent, then disinfected with a solution of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Be cautious with porous materials, such as carpets and upholstery, which may require professional cleaning or replacement.

Mold Prevention: Mold can develop within 24 to 48 hours of water exposure. To prevent mold growth, keep the area dry and well-ventilated. Remove and discard water-damaged materials that cannot be thoroughly dried, like carpet padding and insulation. Professional remediation services can also apply treatments to at-risk areas to inhibit mold growth.

Begin Repairs and Restoration: The extent of repairs will depend on the severity of the water damage. Some tasks may be DIY-friendly, such as painting and minor repairs. However, for significant damage, especially to the structure, electrical, and plumbing systems, it’s best to hire professionals. A reputable water/flood remediation company can handle everything from drying and cleaning to rebuilding affected areas.

Prevent Future Water Damage: After your home is restored, take steps to prevent future water damage. Regular maintenance of plumbing and HVAC systems, cleaning gutters and downspouts, installing water detection alarms, and inspecting the roof and foundation for potential leaks can go a long way in protecting your home.

Dealing with water damage in your home can be stressful, but taking systematic steps can help manage the situation effectively. Prioritizing safety, removing water, drying out affected areas, and contacting your insurance are initial steps toward recovery. Relying on professional water/flood remediation services ensures that your home is properly cleaned, dried, and restored to its pre-damage state. Taking proactive measures to prevent future water damage can safeguard your home and reduce the risk of facing such a challenging situation again. Remember, the key to successful water damage recovery is prompt action and informed decision-making.

Need Help With Clean Up?

When it comes to water, flood, or fire damage, Flood Department is here to help. We provide water damage repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses. We cover Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the unfortunate results. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.

How Long Does It Take to Dry Out Water Damage?

how long does it take to dry out water damage

When water invades your home, whether through a flood, a burst pipe, or a leaking roof, it brings with it a slew of concerns. One of the most pressing questions homeowners face in the aftermath of water damage is: How long will it take to dry out? Understanding the drying process is crucial for setting realistic expectations and mitigating the potential for further damage. This blog post delves into the factors influencing drying time and offers insights into the water remediation process.

The Drying Process: An Overview

The process of drying out water damage involves removing standing water, dehumidifying the air, and drying materials like carpet, drywall, and furniture. The goal is to return the affected materials to their original moisture content levels, a task easier said than done. Generally, the drying process can take anywhere from 24 hours to several weeks, depending on various factors.

Key Factors Influencing Drying Time

  1. Extent of Water Damage: The amount of water and the area it covers significantly impact drying time. Naturally, more extensive damage requires a longer drying period.
  2. Type of Materials Affected: Different materials absorb water at different rates. Porous materials like carpet and drywall soak up water quickly but are also more challenging to dry, potentially extending the drying process.
  3. Environmental Conditions: Humidity and temperature play critical roles in the drying process. High humidity levels and cooler temperatures can slow down drying times, while warmer, drier conditions can speed up the process.
  4. Water Type: The source of water damage can affect the remediation process. Clean water from a burst pipe is easier to manage than contaminated water, which requires additional steps for safe removal and disinfection.
  5. Ventilation: Adequate airflow is essential for drying out water damage. Opening windows and using fans can improve air circulation, helping to speed up the drying process.

The Typical Drying Timeline

First 24 Hours: Immediate action is crucial. Water removal efforts begin, using pumps and vacuums to extract standing water. This stage is vital to prevent mold growth and further damage.

Day 2 to Day 7: This period focuses on dehumidification and drying. Industrial-grade dehumidifiers and air movers are employed to remove moisture from the air and materials. During this time, monitoring equipment is used to track progress and adjust the remediation strategy as needed.

Beyond One Week: In cases of severe water damage, the drying process may extend beyond a week. This period may involve more intensive efforts, such as removing and replacing damaged materials like drywall, insulation, and flooring.

Advanced Drying Techniques

Water remediation professionals use advanced techniques to ensure a thorough drying process. Thermal imaging cameras and moisture meters help identify hidden moisture pockets that could lead to mold growth if not addressed. In some cases, specialized drying systems are used to target hard-to-reach areas, ensuring the entire structure is dry.

The Role of Professional Water Remediation Services

While it might be tempting to tackle water damage cleanup on your own, professional water remediation services offer expertise and equipment that significantly reduce drying time and prevent secondary damage. These professionals follow industry standards and protocols to ensure your home returns to a safe, dry state as quickly as possible.

Preventing Future Water Damage

Prevention is key to avoiding the disruption and cost of water damage. Regular maintenance of plumbing systems, proper sealing of windows and doors, and prompt repair of leaks can significantly reduce the risk of water damage. Additionally, consider installing water detection devices that can alert you to leaks before they become major issues.

The time it takes to dry out water damage varies widely based on the extent of the damage, the materials affected, environmental conditions, and the water’s source. While the drying process can range from a few days to several weeks, the goal is always to minimize damage and prevent mold growth. Engaging professional water remediation services ensures the most efficient and effective drying process, helping you restore your home to its pre-damage condition. Remember, the quicker you act following water damage, the faster and more successful the drying process will be.

Need Help With Clean Up?

When it comes to water, flood, or fire damage, Flood Department is here to help. We provide water damage repair and clean up services for homeowners and businesses. We cover Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the unfortunate results. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.

What Your Flood Insurance Covers (and How to Use It)

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

Living in beautiful Maryland, comes with its perks: scenic landscapes, charming communities, and access to the Patapsco River. But it also means facing the occasional weather-related challenge, including floods. While we can’t control the elements, being prepared for flood damage can ease the stress and financial burden when disaster strikes. So what does your flood insurance cover?

One crucial element of preparedness is understanding your flood insurance policy.

Navigating insurance policies can feel like wandering through a confusing maze, but don’t worry – Flood Department is here to guide you. We’ll demystify common covered scenarios, claim filing procedures, and tips for maximizing your coverage benefits so you can weather any storm with confidence.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

First things first: what exactly does flood insurance cover? Unlike standard homeowners insurance, flood insurance specifically protects your property and belongings against losses caused by rising water.This includes:

  • Direct physical damage to your building structure, foundation, and covered contents like appliances and furniture.
  • Additional living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable due to flood damage, such as hotel stays or rental costs.

Remember, flood insurance only covers damage caused by rising water, not other water-related issues like:

  • Sewer backups (though some policies may offer optional coverage)
  • Broken pipes (covered by homeowners insurance)
  • Surface water (may be covered by additional riders)

For a comprehensive understanding of your specific coverage, refer to your policy documents or consult a trusted insurance professional.

Claim Filing Essentials: Know Your Process

Facing flood damage is stressful, but knowing how to file a claim can streamline the process. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Report the damage: Contact your insurance company immediately, ideally within 72 hours of the flood event. This allows for prompt assessment and avoids potential claim delays.
  2. Document everything: Take detailed photos and videos of the damage, including affected areas, damaged belongings, and floodwater levels. Gather receipts for any temporary repairs or emergency purchases.
  3. File your claim: Submit your claim online, by phone, or through your agent. Be prepared to provide details about the incident, your policy information, and supporting documentation.
  4. Work with your adjuster: An insurance adjuster will be assigned to assess the damage and determine your coverage amount. Collaborate openly and provide any requested information promptly.

Remember, the more organized and prepared you are with documentation and information, the smoother the claim process will be.

Maximize Your Coverage: Pro Tips for Success

Understanding your policy and filing procedures are key, but here are some additional tips to ensure you get the most out of your flood insurance:

  • Review your policy regularly: As your needs and property value change, so might your coverage requirements. Update your policy accordingly to avoid gaps in protection.
  • Consider additional coverage: Depending on your location and risk factors, consider optional riders for sewer backups, overland flooding, or increased contents coverage.
  • Take preventive measures: Mitigating flood risks by elevating appliances, waterproofing basements, and installing sump pumps can lower your premiums and potentially reduce damage severity.
  • Choose a reputable provider: Research companies with strong financial stability and positive customer reviews to ensure smooth claims processing and reliable support.

Remember, Flood Department is always here to help! Reach out for more information on flood insurance basics, risk assessment tools, and valuable resources to guide you through the process.

Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a wealth of information on flood preparedness and flood insurance on their website:

By understanding your flood insurance coverage, knowing the claim filing process, and implementing smart strategies, you can weather any flood with confidence and minimize the financial impact on your home and belongings. Don’t wait until disaster strikes – take action today to secure your peace of mind and protect your loved ones.

Unexpected Sources of Water Damage in Your Home

unexpected sources of water damage

Water damage is a homeowner’s nightmare. Often associated with burst pipes and heavy rain, the reality is, water damage can sneak up from surprising sources, leaving you with costly repairs and potential health risks. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly dry corners of your home – unexpected culprits lurk within, waiting to unleash their watery wrath. Let’s delve into the unexpected sources of water damage and equip you with the knowledge to detect and prevent these hidden threats.

Faulty Appliances: Beyond Leaky Faucets

While dripping faucets are a telltale sign of trouble, they’re not the only appliance villains. Dishwashers, washing machines, and even refrigerators can harbor leaks. Check hoses and connections regularly for cracks or wear and ensure proper drainage by clearing debris from filters and drains. Pay attention to unusual sounds or vibrations, as they might indicate internal leaks. Remember, early detection is key, so be mindful of any changes in your appliances’ performance.

Silent Storms: The Threat of Roof Leaks

Even minor roof damage can lead to major water infiltration. Schedule regular inspections, especially after storms, to identify loose shingles, cracked flashing, or clogged gutters. Look for telltale signs like water stains on ceilings or walls, musty odors, or even unexplained mold growth. Don’t underestimate the power of preventive maintenance. Sealant touch-ups and proper gutter cleaning can go a long way in protecting your roof and your home from hidden leaks.

Condensation Catastrophe: When Moisture Becomes Mischief

Believe it or not, even everyday activities can contribute to water damage. Cooking, showering, and even drying laundry generate moisture that, if not properly ventilated, can condense on hidden surfaces, leading to mold growth and structural damage. Invest in proper ventilation like exhaust fans and dehumidifiers. Ensure adequate air circulation, especially in bathrooms and laundry rooms. Remember, prevention is cheaper than remediation, so address those moisture concerns before they turn into costly problems.

DIY Troubleshooting Tips: Be Your Own Water Detective

While professional help is always recommended for major issues, some DIY detective work can go a long way in the early stages. Turn off the water supply to isolate the source of a leak. Use a moisture meter to check for hidden dampness behind walls or under flooring. Visible signs like peeling paint, warped wood, or even rusting nails can also point to hidden water damage. Remember, when in doubt, call a professional for a thorough assessment and proper mitigation.

Preventing the Deluge: Proactive Steps for a Watertight Home

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to water damage. Regular maintenance is your best defense. Install water leak detectors in vulnerable areas, like basements and laundry rooms. Invest in smart home devices that can monitor temperature and humidity, alerting you to potential problems before they escalate. Finally, educate yourself and your family on water conservation practices and responsible appliance use.

Don’t let hidden water damage turn your home into a watery nightmare. By being aware of the unexpected culprits and taking proactive steps, you can keep your home safe and dry. Remember, early detection and prevention are key. And if disaster strikes, Flood Department is here to help you navigate the restoration process with our expertise and dedication. Learn more about water damage restoration services and start living worry-free today!

Additional Resources:

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): provides valuable information on flood risks and preparedness.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): offers flood insurance options and resources for homeowners.

By staying informed and taking action, you can ensure your home stays a haven, not a victim of hidden water damage.

The Impact of Climate Change on Flooding Disasters

The Impact of Climate Change on Flooding Disasters

Our weather is no doubt becoming more extreme. Climate change and rising global temperatures are largely to blame for this pattern. Rainfall is more intense, sea levels are climbing, and hurricanes are becoming more frequent. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself and your property.  

Types of Flooding

There are four main types of flooding: river and stream flooding, coastal flooding, flash flooding, and urban flooding.

One study shows an estimated 41 million U.S. residents are at risk of flooding along rivers and streams. More than 8.6 million Americans live in areas prone to coastal flooding, which can cause widespread devastation. Flash floods are responsible for the greatest number of flood-related fatalities. Urban flooding occurs when rainfall overwhelms the local stormwater drainage capacity of a densely populated area.

Impact of Climate Change on Floods

It is hard to directly link flooding to climate change due to a lack of data on historical events of the past. However, a report by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) found evidence that climate change “has detectably influenced” water-related variables that contribute to flooding, such as rainfall and snowmelt.

How Climate Change Increases Flood Risks

There are several ways climate change can enhance the risk of flooding. 

Heavier precipitation. A warmer atmosphere holds more water which is dumped on our earth. America has heated up about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since 1901 and has become about 4% wetter. In the Northeast, the most extreme storms generate about 27% more moisture than they did a century ago. Heavy precipitation events are projected to increase, along with temperatures, through the 21st century.  

More hurricanes. The frequency of strong storms is a trend that will likely continue through this century. In the Atlantic basin, an 80% jump in the frequency of category 4 and 5 hurricanes, the most destructive, is expected over the next 80 years.

Increasing global sea levels. As temperatures rise, melting glaciers and ice sheets will dump more water into the seas. Our oceans are seven to eight inches higher than they were in 1900. Three of those inches have been added since 1993. The IPCC predicts world seas will rise anywhere from a foot to more than four feet by this century’s end. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) projects ocean waters along the East Coast could be nearly 10 feet higher by 2100. 

Flash Flooding Trends

The number of flash floods will continue to increase due to more frequent extreme precipitation events. Researchers also expect these floods will become more dangerous, as their timing gets shorter and their magnitude higher. 

It may also become more common for flash floods to follow catastrophic wildfires that destroy forests and other vegetation. Wildfires weaken the soil and make it less permeable. If heavy rain falls in the area, the land won’t absorb it like it once did. 

How to Prepare for Flooding 

There are a few things you can do to prepare for high water. If you live in a flood-prone area, invest in flood insurance. Plan and practice an evacuation route and routine with your family. Assemble an emergency supply kit. Visit for help. Stay on top of changing weather conditions.  

Let Us Clean Up the Mess

When it comes to home disasters, Flood Department is here to help. We provide repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses. We are dedicated to helping reverse the damage done by water, mold, sewage, smoke, and more. We cover Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Contact us today at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.  

How to Dry Out Home Water Damage

How to Dry Out Home Water Damage

Excess water can quickly wreak havoc in a home. When a pipe bursts, or flood waters invade, it can be a nightmare. Here are ways to quickly dry out the premises and clean up the mess.

Drying Out Time

The first question many people ask is how long it will take to dry out their home. The drying process typically takes about five days. However, the time can vary depending on the amount of damage and how long the area has been wet. If the drying process isn’t taken care of quickly, more damage may occur.

How to Prepare for Clean Up

You and your family will likely have to leave the house for a time while the mess is being cleaned up. This will allow certified experts to survey the damage, set up drying equipment, and make repairs. The process could be further delayed if water has saturated carpeting or flooring. It may have to be pulled up and replaced to keep mold from growing.

How to Dry Your Home

An easy way to treat minor water issues is to let your home air dry. If you open a few windows and let the house air out, the water will dry out faster. Pay attention to the weather forecast. Don’t keep the windows open if it’s raining outside. If you live in a humid climate, this method won’t work.

Home Drying Devices

There are some tools you can use to speed up the drying process.

A high-power fan will efficiently and quickly dry up the general area. It works similar to an automatic hand dryer in a public restroom. The water may even dry in a couple of hours.

Dehumidifiers will help take moisture out of the air. In a drier environment, water is less likely to soak into furniture and the room will dry out faster.

A high-power vacuum will quickly draw water out of carpets, fabrics, or cloth. The device will also reduce the drying time.

A pump is the best way to eliminate large amounts of standing water. Once the water is out, continue drying out the affected area with one of the methods above.

Keep safety in mind before plugging in any device to help dry out your home. Don’t use any equipment near water. Make sure there is no water damage to electrical outlets. If you’re in doubt, call a professional for help.  

Don’t Ignore Water Damage

Water damage that’s left alone can lead to mold growth and mildew, which can cause skin problems and respiratory issues. Untreated water damage can cause structural damage, attract pests, and heighten the risk of electric shock. Untreated water damage can also leave a bad smell in the house and create water stains on walls and ceilings. Electrical damage, high water bills, costly repairs, and lower house values may also result if the damage remains untouched.

Leave the Cleaning to Us

When it comes to water, flood, or fire damage, Flood Department is here to help. We provide water damage repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses. We cover Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the unfortunate results. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

When it gets really cold outside, the chances of a pipe freezing in your home greatly increases.

Burst pipes are a top cause of property damage during frigid weather. They can easily leave behind  $5,000 or more in water damage. The good news is, there are ways you can prevent a frozen pipe disaster in your home.

Protecting Pipes from Cold

The first step is to insulate your pipes to keep them warm. This is key if pipes are in unheated areas such as basements, attics, and garages. Pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls are also at risk. Pipes commonly freeze at temperatures of 20 degrees and below. Protect vulnerable pipes with a good amount of insulation.

Tips to Stop the Freeze

Homeowners can take some steps to prevent frozen pipes. Leave garage doors closed. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let the heat get to pipes. Let water drip from a faucet to prevent freezing. Keep the heat in your home at a consistent temperature. If you’re going away, set it no lower than 55-degrees. Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces for extra warmth. Disconnect garden hoses and put them away for winter. Shut off and drain valves that supply outdoor faucets.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

Pipes commonly freeze when temperatures quickly drop, the insulation is poor, and thermostats are set too low. Here’s how to unthaw a frozen pipe.

If no pipes have burst, turn on the faucet. Running water will help melt the ice plug. Heat the frozen pipe with a heating pad, blow dryer, or portable space heater. You can also wrap it in heat tape, heat cables, or towels soaked in hot water. Apply heat until water pressure is back. Make sure any electrical device you use doesn’t touch water.

What to Do if a Pipe Bursts

If you notice a large wet spot on your wall, it’s likely a pipe has burst. Increased water bills, water discoloration, inconsistent water flow, and mold are other tell-tale signs. Here’s how to handle a broken pipe in your home.

Turn off the water supply to prevent further damage. The valve is usually located in the basement, a crawl space, or near your water heater. If the leak is significant, turn off the electricity.

Drain faucets. This will prevent them from refreezing. Flush the toilets to relieve pressure. Turn off the water heater. Leave faucets and taps open so pressure can’t build up.  

Find the leak. Search your house. Look for bulging ceilings and floors, or water stains in your walls. If you find a drip, place a bucket underneath to catch the water.

Call a Pro. Contact a licensed plumber as soon as possible.

How to Clean Up the Mess

Turn off the electricity. Remove carpet, furniture, and anything else you can from the affected area. Soak up the water with old towels, mops, and buckets. If a burst pipe leaves behind a few inches or more of water, use a submersible pump or wet/dry vac. Once it’s removed, open windows, and set up fans and space heaters to help dry the area. If it’s too much to handle, call in a professional service.

Need Help With Clean Up?

When it comes to water, flood, or fire damage, Flood Department is here to help. We provide water damage repair and clean up services for homeowners and businesses. We cover Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the unfortunate results. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.