Earlier this month we covered how to mitigate your losses and survive a flood in Houston. During this hurricane season,we are bound to experience some flooding, as we have already seen last month over Independence Day. At Airteam we have seen families overwhelmed by the aftermath of losing a home or suffering extensive damages following a flood. It’s heartbreaking and many residents are just numb and don’t know where to begin to restore their home while they wait on insurance claims to process. With key service providers such as Houston AC repair companies, electricians and general contractors in high demand following a flood, often it is hard to get help.
With Airteam being one of those providers, we know all too well just how busy it can get and often there is a large shortage of help. We wanted to give you, our customers and neighbors, a little heads up on what you can expect after a flood and how to get the AC back on and the recovery process going.
Airteam’s Post Flood Recovery Gameplan
If your home takes on water during a storm forcing evacuation, the first step before returning home should be to have a licensed electrician, utility company or emergency responders deem the home safe for re-entry. When floodwaters rise they can short out electronics and pose a serious risk of electrocution if not dealt with properly.
If the water reached high enough to come in contact with outlets or wiring, the electrician will have to disconnect the main power line feeding your home. If the electrician says it isn’t necessary, don’t get over-confident—cut power to your HVAC equipment from the breaker box. It is the most expensive appliance you own and you don’t want to chanceit if it’s been compromised. Have a local Houston AC repair company like Airteam come out and inspect the unit before you turn it back on.
If you have to wait for the technician and you begin cleanup right away, make sure you mark the water line on your HVAC equipment. This will help the tech determine which components actually became submerged during the flood.
For those who use propane-fueled furnaces, make sure you also contact Centerpoint Energy to have them inspect as well. When propane equipment is damaged it can turn into a severe problem without notice. Just as with electricity, only professionals should handle propane equipment due to the risk involved.
Remove All The Garbage ASAP
Mold develops very quickly in the hot and humid region we live in. By the time most residents are able to re-enter their home, waterlogged sheetrock and carpet already haveconditions ripe for mold spores to grow. Mold can cause severe breathing problems and other health issues, especially in children and the elderly. That’s why it’s so important to get rid of all waterlogged materials and anything absorbent ASAP. This includes:
- Sheetrock (Drywall)
- HVAC Air Filters
We understand—it’s heartbreaking having to throw away components of your home rather than trying to salvage what you can. The sobering truth is, it will only cause a bigger problem if you leave it in the home.
In terms of your HVAC—you need to have a Houston AC repair company such as Airteam come and examine the damage of your ducts, furnace and HVAC unit. They will determine if the system can safely be salvaged, but in many cases,it is a total loss. While it may be tempting to try and salvage anyway, keep in mind that there can be internal corrosion which can lead to a fire hazard or carbon monoxide leaks in your home. Many Houston AC repair companies will try to work with residents as much as they can with new unit pricing, and insurance claims. It’s never wise to try to make a unit run that has been compromised, it ultimately puts your family’s safety at risk.
Things Will Get A Bit Hectic…Remain Calm
Once you are in the recovery and rebuild phase after a flood, it will get pretty hectic with so many contractors going in and out of your home. Electricians, utility workers, FEMA reps, carpenters and more will need your attention quite a bit. This can get overwhelming but it’s important to try and remain calm so the process goes smoothly and quickly as possible.
In Houston,the most important task for most families in this heat is getting the HVAC repaired ASAP. Keep in mind, however, that whichever Houston AC repair company you work with, you need to coordinate it around your other contractors. Try not to book everyone on the same day and time, and make sure you allow sufficient time and room for their teams to work. This will lessen the stress on you as well as make the work go by more smoothly.
If your HVAC units are deemed salvageable, they will still require a deep, extensive cleaning to remove mold, bacteria and other harmful substances that may be hidden inside. A qualified HVAC technician will use industry standard mold removal techniques and treatments to make sure your unit is safe for regular use again. Keep in mind your ducts will also likely need to be replaced if they came in contact with floodwater. Even if they seem fine, at the very least they need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before being deemed safe to use.
Breathe…You’re On Your Way Back To Normalcy!
Once you have taken all necessary steps to getyour home back to living conditions, your HVAC will get a final tune-up and diagnostic just to make sure all is working properly. Once that is done, you can begin to sort out the insurance reimbursements for your losses and re-furnish your home interior. Keep in mind though, that these system checks and HVAC system replacement are not DIY projects. You need to have a quality Houston AC repair company perform these tasks.
We hope you never have to endure a flooded home this storm season, but if you do and you want peace of mind that your HVAC system is taken care of and inspected properly—contact our flood recovery team to schedule a system check. We will give you an honest, professional opinion on the condition of your systemand our recommendation of action.
At Airteam, we stand with Houstonians during the tough times such as flooding and tropical storm damage. Call us ahead of the storm to join the Airteam MVP program and let us be your HVAC champions.