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Tips on Cleaning Up after Hurricane Harvey

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 by Steve Klein

We here at Steve Klein never imagined our homes and homeowners would be tested to the degree they were from Hurricane Harvey. We’re happy to report that most of our homeowners escaped damage.

Unfortunately, many of our fellow Texans were not so lucky, and must now face the storm cleanup process as they restore their homes and rebuild their lives.

The following are ways that Hurricane Harvey victims can make the storm cleanup process easier while keeping their homes safe for their families.

Keeping Your Family Safe during Hurricane Cleanup and Recovery

The recovery process will be difficult, and you should take steps to increase the comfort and safety of your family.

Wash clothes thoroughly to remove dirt and other debris that comes with floodwaters. It’s a good idea to wash everything a second time with hot water to remove all dirt and contaminants.

If you’re using portable stoves, generators, or charcoal grills, be aware that these can release carbon monoxide, an odorless and colorless gas that can be lethal. So only use these items outdoors.

Entering Your Home after the Hurricane
Once you’ve confirmed the safety of your home, you can begin to remove valuable items, open doors and windows to create airflow, and remove trash and debris.

Water pipes can be damaged during severe hurricanes. So check your plumbing for any leaks that could lead to additional problems.

Valuable items should be removed so they aren’t damaged during the storm cleanup process as you begin removing debris and other items.

Assessing Damage

You’ll need to evaluate the entire property to uncover any structural damage that has occurred. There are many ways in which floodwaters can impact your home, especially the longer it remains inside.

Sheet rock and other materials can deteriorate, warp, and rot over time. Water causes electrical units to cut out and can increase the risk of electrocution or fires.

Floodwaters may be contaminated, which creates a health risk for you and your family along with the potential for mold and mildew growth.

Using a dehumidifier, fans, and natural airflow can help reduce the risks related to water damage such as mold and mildew stains.

Saving Furniture and Appliances

Furniture should be removed from the home as soon as possible. Wooden items swell or warp when exposed to high levels of moisture. Drying them out helps restore them and makes it easy to remove drawers for cleaning.

You may be able to clean furniture using a combination of water and mild soap applied with a well-wrung cloth. Placing all furniture out in the sunlight helps them dry out quickly.

Electrical appliances may be saved if they’ve not been severely damaged. Frayed cords may expose wiring, creating safety risks and the need to replace those items.

Larger appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines will likely require a professional service provider to ensure that they are safe to use.

Get Organized

As you go through the storm cleanup process, take time to photograph any damage to your property and its contents for insurance purposes.

It’s important to have clear pictures and thorough notes of the damage so you can file a claim with your insurance company.

Steve Klein Custom Builder helps homeowners design and build homes that keep their families safe. We work with expert engineers and surveyors when planning residential communities to ensure they are built to handle non-typical high rainfall event storms such as hurricanes.

For more information about our one-of-a-kind “True Custom” homes, contact Steve Klein today at 361-572-4101.