Home and business owners faced with flooding from recent rains in the Northeast should take immediate action to minimize the amount of damage water can cause, says the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).
Proper cleanup to minimize damage
- As soon as it is safe to do so, disconnect all electronics/electrical equipment and move it to a dry location.
- Remove as much standing water as possible from inside the building.
- Begin to remove water-damaged materials immediately.
- Ventilate with fans and/or dehumidifiers.
Acting quickly can increase the chance of salvaging usable materials, reduce the amount of rust, rot and mold that might develop, and limit the likelihood of structural problems.
Property owners not immediately threatened can reduce the likelihood of water intrusion in the future by making sure window and door seals are pliable, or replacing them if not.
Use a high-quality silicone caulk to seal areas where cables or pipes exit walls, such as around clothes dryers, kitchen or bathroom vents and outdoor electrical outlets.
To reduce flooding from poor drainage or excessive rainfall, clear drains of debris and make sure the lot's grading directs water away from buildings.