Flooding can be one of the most horrendous disasters that can fall on a homeowner, creating damage and ruining so many to your belongings. After recent storms, many homeowners were put in front of necessity to repair their homes after flooding.
As you are struggling with flood cleanup chores, one big question that is on your mind is “how long is this going to take”? Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to really provide an estimate as everyone’s situation is different. Here are a few things to consider when trying to figure out the time it will take.
How Much Water?
The biggest issue will be how much water you are dealing with. A few inches can be pumped out pretty quickly, but if you are trying to clear out 4 feet of standing water, that can be hours if not days. And that’s assuming you have electrical power to run a pump. If you have flooding during a power outage, you may be bailing out with buckets making the water volume even that more difficult to handle.
This is one thing most people don’t consider, the kind of flood water you’re dealing with. A flooded basement due to localized heavy rain or a burst pipe will be cleaner than a basement that floods because of a larger disaster. A true flood that covers several blocks or more, will be contaminated with sewage, oil and gasoline from vehicles and just general garbage. Water from this kind of widespread flood will leave a much more hazardous mess that will require more cleaning and disinfecting. Plan on several more days of work in this case (more on that in a moment).
Did a handful of wooden pieces of furniture get wet, or are you looking at 2 dozen boxes of sodden paperback books? Upholstered furniture, bedding, carpet and clothing are all going to take a lot more work to deal with than items of plastic, wood or metal. And you have to consider the wall or floor material itself. Wood, stone or drywall?
A bare empty basement with stone walls will just need to be dried out, which shouldn’t take all that long. If you are dealing with a lot of damaged or soaked materials, that is another story. In situations with “clean” water, you may be lucky enough to just have to dry out carpet and drywall, though watch carefully for mold if the process takes too long.
For situations with dirty water, expect a lot more work as carpet will need to be pulled up, and you probably should break down the drywall and remove it as well.
With fans and dehumidifiers going, you can get things dried out without too much effort on your part. Just a lot of patience. But if you’ve had to tear out walls or flooring, don’t forget to account for all the replacement. Once everything has been cleaned out and dried, doing the repairs can usually be done at whatever pace fits your schedule.
These are the main components of flood damage repair, but it will vary widely by situation. Are you working alone or with a group of friends to get things done? Are you able to work steady at this for a few days or are you only free in the evenings? Do you have electrical power?
It may take a weekend to clean up, and it may take a month to be completely recovered.