The telltale signs of a recent storm are obvious; fallen trees, missing shingles, broken windows, and flooded basements are readily apparent. But the damage doesn’t stop there; big storms also leave behind hidden damage below the surface that, left unchecked, can compromise your home’s integrity and pose significant health and safety risks down the road. The following are the most common types of hidden storm damage, how to look for them, and what to do:
Water damage can be tough to find. The fact that you don’t see standing water in your home or water stains on your ceiling after heavy rain doesn’t mean that water didn’t get in somewhere. Small, invisible leaks can be harmful, leading to decay, rot, mold growth, and other problems. Any cracks or chips in external walls, the roof, window frames, or other features are openings for water to get through. The attic, crawl space, or basement are also locations where water commonly enters homes during bad weather. Call a professional for expert water removal in Lawrence, Kansas, to make sure you don’t miss any water intrusions.
Floodwaters aren’t clean. They may contain chemicals, waste, bacteria, pesticides, or other harmful contaminants. Cleaning up after a flood doesn’t end when the water is removed, and the surfaces are dry. Everything that came in contact with the floodwater must be carefully cleaned and disinfected. Some items may need to be discarded, including food, mattresses, textiles, and stuffed toys, as it’s extremely difficult to make such things safe again.
Water plus electricity is a dangerous, life-threatening combination. If there are downed power lines and standing water, outdoors always assume it’s unsafe and stay far away. Keep your pets and kids away as well. Indoors, the danger can be just as dire. If your home has flooded during a storm, turn off the power to the flooded area before entering. When flooding has been severe, have the electrical system and appliances professionally inspected before turning everything back on.
Floodwaters can extinguish pilot lights on your natural gas appliances, such as water heaters and furnaces. If you smell gas, leave your home and call your utility company.
You aren’t the only creature to be displaced due to a bad storm; bugs, snakes, and other wildlife have also lost their homes. Be aware that these creatures are wandering around looking for new homes, and they may turn up in unexpected places. Pay special attention to children and pets playing outside during the days and weeks following a storm.
What Should You Do?
Understanding the hidden dangers is the first step. To avoid further damages or injuries, contact Emergency Mitigation Services for water damage removal in Lawrence, KS. Our crews are on call 24/7 to help you recover after a natural disaster. The sooner you begin storm damage recovery, the better. We have the experience and the tools needed to tackle all the damage done to your property, seen and unseen. We carefully assess the situation to make sure that even hidden damages are addressed during the cleanup process.
Effective storm cleanup goes below the surface. Call EMS for help right away.