Skoshi Tiger, Inc.
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reclamation: flood

There are some advantages to be found in the aftermath of a flood. In many cases, the frame of the structure is salvageable. Once again, the assessment stage, and its sundry equipment remain the same as mentioned earlier. Be sure to photograph and journal everything.

Water does ninety five things to a structure, and ninety-four are bad.

The first thing to do is to get the water out. A small submersible pump will help, but if there is no electricity, the pumping will have to wait unless there is a generator on site.

If trees are down, do not touch them until it’s certain there are no live electrical wires near….within any area where a falling lop can fall. Trees and limbs transmit electricity the same as a bare copper wire. Observe and be careful.

Once the bulk of the water is removed, the business of salvaging as much as possible of the structure can get underway. Again, be sure to maintain all safety precautions.

All electrical power inside the structure should be off. If the water rose to the breaker box, remove all the breakers in a power-off condition. Check the gas meter to be sure the gas is turned off.

In addition to the original recommendations for assessment,  Skoshi Tiger recommends these tools for starting the work:

Rakes, steel and lawn (no plastic);

Shovels, flat and pointed;

Wheelbarrow;

Crowbar, flatbars;

5 gallon buckets;

Brooms;

Mortar trough;

Screwdriver assortment;

Utility knives;

Trash bags;

Trash cans;

Storage boxes;

Dollies, four wheel and two wheel;

Sawhorses;

¾” plywood sheets;

2  100’ X 60’rolls Visqueen.

The first order of business is to remove the damaged furniture and appliances along with the personal belongings, i.e. clothing, etc. if the sawhorses are set up with the plywood as a table, the keepers and tossers can be sorted more easily, and the keepers can be placed for drying.

Next, any carpet and padding can be removed by cutting out sections under two feet wide and rolling them for easier lifting. They will be very heavy, so use the dollies to take them out. Stack the rolls together. The neater the stacks, the easier (and cheaper) it will be to have them hauled off.

When the floor coverings have been removed, the next order of business is to remove all electrical fixtures, outlets, switches, all of which may be salvageable. Set these aside with the breakers removed from the breaker box.

Many times, flood jobs are tackled like the Chicago Bears’ front line with a sledge hammer and brute force, but an organized approach saves money and time. Here’s why: demolition is step by step. Doing it this way saves money and makes the project safer.

The sooner the drywall or plaster comes off the walls, the better. The material absorbs and osmoses like a sponge, so the moisture can run all the way into the ceiling. It has to go because no matter how dry it seems, the moisture remains and becomes an excellent medium for mold.

Cover the floor with visqueen. This makes clean up easier.

In most cases, it is easier to take out the ceiling first, then work around the sides in a counter clockwise manner if a right -hander is doing it, opposite for a left-hander. Take the material down in two by two sections if possible. Stacking the debris in the trash cans which sit on four wheel dollies makes moving the debris out a breeze.

When the wall finish is removed, the insulation can be pulled out easily and bagged for disposal. It may be wet and heavy, so once again, smaller pieces are less tiring. Don’t overfill the bags.

If the outer covering of the structure is wood, it may require removal. The same is true for fiber board like masonite, but some siding is a concrete product which would survive a flood. Should the siding need to be removed, whether for good or for drying, start at the top and work down. Saved siding should be stacked at the side of the structure from which it was removed. Lack of adequate space for stacking near its wall requires labeling for proper replacement.

With the walls open, it is an opportune time to make changes in outlet and switch placement. If the structure is wired with romex, it may not be necessary to rewire. However, if flex-tube was used, it may be necessary to blow out the tubes with compressed air, then the wiring can be checked for continuity and shorts with a very inexpensive continuity tool after the tubes have dried out.

It is wise to make sure the cable itself is in good order. If rewiring is necessary, the time to do it is when the walls are open.

When everything is stripped out, a drying unit can be mounted inside. Don’t forget the crawl space. Check the floor joists and subfloor for damage. If any piece is buckled or warped, replace it now. Plywood subfloor plies can separate in floods, weakening it and making it lumpy. Drying can bring it into line, or another layer of ½” CDX ply can be laid over it and attached by screws to good joists.

The plywood must be thoroughly dry before covering. Otherwise, dry rot, termites, or mold will show up in a short time. The future has to be kept in mind. Everything depends on what is being done in preparation.

About now is when the structure is ready for the next step

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