1. A flooded home can be fixed
Despite what you might think, a flooded home can be saved rather than razed to the ground, but removing the moisture quickly is key. “The biggest thing is getting in there and getting it cleaned up quickly,” says Robyn Kent, claims administrator at Dalworth Restoration, based in Euless, TX. “Closer to the three- to five-day mark is when it becomes questionable, since by then, all the materials have become fragile.”
2. You’d be amazed what can be saved
“Using truck-mounted vacuums with 2,000 horsepower, and dehumidifiers, we can extract moisture from furniture, hardwood, tile, even Sheetrock,” Kent says. Even electronics like TVs and laptops may still operate after a thorough drying. “In fact, when carpet gets wet, people think it’s ruined, but it actually ends up stronger than when it was made,” Kent says.
3. Mold, not water, is the real problem
“One of the biggest problems—especially in Houston in the summer—is going to be mold,” says Tyler Drew, a Los Angeles real estate agent and investor. “The longer a house sits with water, the worse the mold infestation. Affected areas have to be removed, the wood and concrete treated with anti-mold agents, and all of this has to be done after the house is sealed, in order to prevent the infestation from spreading and sickening people.”
4. Repairing a flooded home will cost you
“Drying off a 2,000 square-foot house in normal conditions may cost over $2,500, while in situations like Harvey is producing, the job scope expands quickly—and so will costs,” says Peter Duncanson, director of operations and safety with ServiceMaster Restore.
While flood insurance may cover the cost of repairs, you should make sure you have the right kind (more on that next).
5. Homeowner insurance doesn’t cover all floods
“Although federal flood insurance is very inexpensive in areas not prone to flooding, most owners do not take out this insurance,” says Bruce Ailion, a Realtor and attorney in Atlanta. “In the past, the government bailed out these people, but that is far less likely to happen today.”
And even if you do have flood insurance, you should make sure what is covered. “Many people don’t realize their homeowner insurance doesn’t cover rising water,” says Kent. In other words, “some flood insurance will cover rain water if it comes through your roof, but most of the time, it won’t cover water rising in your home, like what’s happening in Texas, unless you ask for it specifically.”
Judy Dutton is a senior editor at realtor.com covering news and advice about home buying, selling, decorating, and everything in between (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow @judy_dutton
While it is potentially possible to fix a flood or water damaged home, some home owners may not wish to do this or are unable to do so. If you do not have insurance or are unable to make repairs for any reason, then you can still sell your home. We buy houses in as-is condition and handle issues such as title processing and closing, so that you can focus on your family and what you need to do to move forward. For a no-obligation, cash offer on your house please fill out the below form or call us directly 713-714-2689.