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Do You Need to Gut Your Home? The Top Post-Flood Cleanup Questions

Do You Need to Gut Your Home? The Top Post-Flood Cleanup Questions

Should you gut your home after water damage? Whether wild weather floods the floors and more, a pipe burst, or your washer overflowed, take a look at what you need to know about water damage, tear-outs, and home restoration.

How Extensive Is the Water Damage?

Before you hire a restoration contractor for a full tear-out, assess the damage. A small puddle on your concrete basement floor that an overflowing washer left behind typically won’t require a major cleanup and tear-out. However, a major flood from a rainstorm or a burst pipes that soaked through the carpets and into the subflooring may require professional help. 

If you’re not able to evaluate the damage yourself, contact a qualified contractor. A water damage restoration professional has the knowledge and experience to assess this type of situation and help you to take the next steps. 

What Is a Tear-Out?

As the name implies, a tear-out service means that the contractor will tear out the water-damaged parts of your home. But that’s not always all this service requires. Water damage can impact everything from the carpets you can see to the spaces under the floors and behind the walls. A complete tear-out, or gutting, may take the affected room down to the deepest layer of subflooring and the studs in the walls. 

Why Should You Gut Your Home?

Tear-outs are done for a few different reasons. Some homeowners gut rooms (or the entire property) to renovate the interior spaces. When water damage is at fault, a tear-out is necessary to remove unsalvageable permanent parts of your home (such as floorboards or plaster), prevent additional damage and mold growth, maintain a safe and healthy indoor environment, and restore the interior aesthetics. 

Is a Deep-Cleaning Better Than a Tear-Out?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. Again, the extent of the damage is a primary concern. Small areas of water damage are often easy for a professional to dry and clean completely. But larger spaces or multi-room damage may require a tear-out service. Along with the extent of the damage, you also need to consider biohazards, ease of access, and other home hazards, such as electrical issues and shock or fire risks. 

While cleaning products such as bleach can remove some biohazards and contaminants, it’s possible to leave mold and other microorganisms behind. If the source of the flood is a sewage pipe break or rainwater run-off is in your home, a mop and a bucket full of a common household cleaner won’t prevent the possibility of a health hazard in your home.

If the contractor feels that the extensive damage could leave behind a microorganism mess that could put you or your household members at risk for serious health issues, you may need to gut the space.

Who Should Gut Your Home?

General contractors often offer tear-down or tear-out services. These contractors have expertise in gutting homes before a major renovation project. But they may not have the knowledge or experience necessary to adequately remove water damage hazards or help to restore your flooded home. 

Instead of a general demolition contractor, choose a water damage restoration professional for this type of tear-out job. These professionals know what to look for after water damages an interior space, can remove flooring, drywall, plaster, insulation, and more in a safe way, and can prepare your interior space for the next step. 

A qualified water damage restoration contractor should also know how to navigate the home insurance system. Your homeowners insurance may pay for some or all of the restoration process, depending on the type of damage and your policy’s limitations. 

Is water damage a problem in your home? Contact Disaster Masters for more information. 

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