Friday, March 19, 2010

The Big Bailout off Main St.

Our Century 21 Office is just up Main Street from the worst of March Madness in Little Falls. Down Main, at the lowest level in the Signac section, is where hundreds of residents have been forced out for most of the past week. Over the years a tight community has developed among flood prone residents that has resulted in an increasingly active online forum. A couple of posts say a lot about how they are coping:

I am also hoping it misses the 1st floor because that is a whole lot more damage to deal with. I think in 1984 it just missed by a few inches. It also depends where you are on the street, every house is different. Some houses sit in dips along the street. Some of my neighbors only a couple of houses away are a lot higher than me. Unfortunately, it's very hard to say how high it will go in each house. Good Luck!! (Monday 11:49AM)
Three times in 5 years is just ridiculous!!!

Basic clean-up steps involved.... #8 03/15/10 12:41 PM

This is a very basic list and clean-up can be very involved, but just so you have an understanding of what the basics are:
1. When flood levels drop low enough the town will turn on the pumps again. Once the pumps are turned on the water drops rapidly and you can usually go back to the house within hours.
2. Once home, take lots of pictures of the damage. Call your flood insurance right away and notify them that you are going to start removing materials. They should not have any objections and will ask you to take pictures.
3. Next start ripping out 4' high of drywall, insulation and carpeting. The insurance company usually covers materials up to 4' high. If the water level went beyond that speak to your insurance. While you are doing this, ask someone to go out and get plenty of bleach. The Red Cross usually comes around with some, but you are going to use a lot. Also, if you don't have a dehumidifier, go out and get one now.
4. If you have a powerwasher, use it to wash the crawls space, studs, etc. I know it seems crazy to be spraying water when you just got rid of it, but since everything is already soaked you might as well get it cleaned right. The water is sometimes muddy and you don't want that stuff sticking around. This is also a good time to start making calls to your plumber and HVAC to have your furnace fixed or replaced.
5. Mix bleach and water in a big spray can (the big pump kind), ventilate the area really well and spray everything down. I usually do this 3 times over a two day period.
6. Next you want to start drying everything out with dehumidifiers and fans.
7. If the water made it to the air ducts you are also going to want to call someone in to clean them out.
Hope this helps a bit. To answer you question, you usually can move in right after your utilities are back up and running. March is too cold to be living with now heat and hot water.

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