Older homes are vulnerable when it comes to water damage. Given that it has been occupied for a more extended period, wear and tear in the worm of water damage can be inevitable. But when an older home gets flooded, things get even more complicated.
For one, the homeowner must act swiftly. Any water or flood damage can cause rotting and mold growth. It can also cause accidents and injuries. Immediate action is crucial.
Common Causes of Flood Damage in Older Homes
Weather disturbances may usually cause flood damage, but other incidents can also cause flood damage. For instance, plumbing problems can lead to backed-up sewers, overflowing tubs and sinks, and burst pipes. Frozen pipes that suddenly burst is one of the common reasons why a home would flood even without weather-related flooding.
Roofing problems can also be problematic. Issues in the older home’s roofing system could give way to potential indoor flooding when rains are heavy.
A malfunctioning sump pump can also cause flooding in older homes. Basement flooding can quickly occur when the sump pump of an older home remains unchecked. Sump pumps must be well-maintained to avoid water damage.
Geography also plays a massive role in the risk of flooding incidents in older homes. When a home is near a body of water, the risk of an overflow could be possible. The overflowing water may find its way to the older home.
Another possible reason for flood damage occurrence in older homes is community-related plumbing problems. When nearby pipe bursts, sewage overflows, or a fire hydrant suddenly malfunctions and causes flooding, the floodwater may find its way to the house.
Typical Flood Damage Found in Older Homes
Flood damage is highly possible in older homes situated in flood risk areas. If the area has been flooded once, then the house may have been inflicted with flood damage. So where should a homeowner or a prospective home buyer look for possible flood damage? Here are some of the common areas usually affected by flood damage:
1. Basement. The basement is often the first area in a home to get flooded during weather disturbances. It can get flooded to when the sump pump malfunctions. Check the basement for possible flood damage. If there are no visible mold spores, check under the carpets. If there is still no molds insight, but there is a musty smell, then there could be molds behind the wallpaper or in the interior walls.
2. Kitchen Cabinets. Kitchen cabinets, especially those beneath the sink, are the usual harbinger of water damage. Check out possible rotting and mold growth inside these cabinets. Sometimes, when the flood damage is massive, even the cabinet doors get damaged. Check these areas so that water damage can be addressed immediately.
3. Bathroom area. The bathroom has several areas that can be affected by flood damage. Cabinets under the sink can be rotting already due to flooding or leaky pipes. The walls can be damaged due to piping issues, and so is the flooring. This should all be checked by a competent plumbing contractor or mold inspector if the flood damage is suspected.
4. Walls and ceilings. The walls and the ceilings could also sustain flood damage. Check the area nearest the floor for discoloration, rotting, warping, or visible mold spores. The area near the ceiling should be checked as roof problems can prompt water damage in this area. When the paint bubbles or a wallpaper suddenly warps, then there may be hidden water damage behind the walls. This can be attributed to weather-related flooding or plumbing issues.
Dealing with Flood Damage in Older Homes
The initial thing to do is to turn off the electricity and water source. The homeowner should then assess the flood damage, take photos, and report it to the insurance company. Valuables and electronics should immediately be moved out of the flooded area. Putting the electronics, pieces of furniture, and other appliances increase the chances of it getting repaired.
As soon as the insurance company gives a signal to hire a flood damage repair company, the homeowner should no longer waste time. He should immediately find a reliable flood damage repair contractor and commence with the work at hand.
Swift action is essential when it comes to remediating flood damage in an older house. The longer the time flood damage sits unaddressed, the more significant the destruction the home will incur. Moreover, when flood damage is not addressed right away, molds may grow and complicate the repair work. The insurance company may also not cover costs if homeowner negligence can be proven. For instance, repairs for ill-maintained homes that sustain water damage will not be covered by the insurance policy. Failure to report flood damage right away can also affect policy coverage.