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denemante 11-02-2012 02:28 PM

flood damage in NJ - a typical flood restoration?
Hey all,

On the NJ shore, many homes had 2-3+ feet of water inside them. Many of these homes were built in the 1940s to 1960s. They are not expensive homes.

I'm familiar with ServPro's process - I had a washer overflow. They did a great job. But that was perhaps 100 gallons of fresh/clean water. They ran multiple dehumidifyers for 5-6 days. In NJ - the homes had FEET of seawater (and perhaps sewage, oil, and anything else) inside the whole first floor for days. And with restrictions on returning - they'll likely sit for a week or more before anything can be done.

To do flood restoration, would you all tend to believe that in this case, the entire first floor would need to be virtually gutted (including exterior wallboards, cabinets, bathrooms and siding and floorboards) - then the framing washed and treated? And only then the home deemed safe for reconstruction?

Or - even though there was feet of water inside - only interior demo would be needed to just above the waterline, then dehumidifyers could be run and the wood treated?

Thousands of homes are facing this - including my family's property. They are all very similar homes of similar age. I'm just trying to get an idea on how intense the restoration is likely to be for everyone

For many of these homes - including mine - if extensive demolition is needed for dryout and treatment to the first floor - there's really only the roof left. The value of what's left is likley less than the cost of restoration. Thus - why even's "totalled" - just knock down and rebuild.

Thoughts? Thanks.

princelake 11-02-2012 06:51 PM

its impossible to say until you actually get in there and see what is affected. and just think how many homes are affected. there is only so many restoration companies and only so much equipment. it could take a lonnng time before anybody actually gets to you. i would take lots and lots of pictures of your home and contents to make sure you get back what you had. make a list and document everything. normally restoration companies only replace what they see when they get there so if you gutted your house all you get is a gutted house. you can start to tear out everything you for know sure is damaged and take pictures. and write down your hours you worked some insurance companies will give you a kick by for doing your own work.

md2lgyk 11-03-2012 08:43 AM

Sorry to hear of your troubles. Short of burning it down, there's nothing worse you can do to a house than flood it. Ultimately, it's up to your insurance company to decide whether to restore the house or total it.

joecaption 11-03-2012 09:53 AM

And you did have flood insurance, right?
If not the insurance company may not cover the damage.
Reality sucks.
Covered or not this has to be delt with ASAP before mold sets in.
If they are going to cover it and a company comes in to help with the clean up go over there bill with a fine tooth comb.
I've see them try and rip off the insurance companys off big time.
Billing for hours not worked, charging for off hour work and it was not.
Billing for things they never did. ECT.
It cost everyone when they do this.

concretemasonry 11-03-2012 12:38 PM

After FEMA for "disaster relief" gets out of the way, the SBA for "disaster recovery" usually makes available very low interest loans for damages not covered if the person repairs or rebuilds. I worked for the SBA after Katrina and the guidelines for damage/loss are far different that what insurance companies determine as a loss or damage.

The concept used for the loss verification was "What would a normal person do?". As an example, an insurance company for roof damage will usually only provide for replacement or correction of a small damaged area, without regard to matching the existing even if the products are not available now (very common with faded siding and roofing). A normal person would do an entire roof surface. It is not a gift or charity because you are getting a dirt cheap loan to rebuild or repair. - It is true "Disaster recovery". Somewhere along the line, it has to be declared a "disaster" by some person with authority for the program to be available.


denemante 11-04-2012 08:10 PM

These are all really great responses - actually I must say I've learned something new from each.

But the real center of my question is actually about the most common dryout/restoration/renovation processes post-flood for a flood like this.

It's a natural flood (smaller but like Katrina) where dirty water has come up a few feet high inside the first floor of the home. There are 1000s of homes that are the same age, built with the same materials, and have the indentical damage.

That being said - if a single company like ServProo booked the work for all these houses - they must already have an idea what they are up against.

I figure there must be a "best practice" method of cleaning and restoration.

So it's either going to be a bit more non-invasive (minor interior demo, dryout, new carpets, lower drywall and paint) - or since it's likely "dirty water", it's going to be majorly invasive (first floors gutted down to the framing on every side but the ceiling, full cleaning a treatment of framing members, then rebuild).

Apparently there is no offical "standard" for this type of restoration. But somebody must have an idea.

I'm asking for an important reason. There are 1000s of people with their fingers crossed that although they got 2-3 feet of sandy, muddy, ocean/bay water inside their first floors (certainly mixed with gas and oil from overturned boats, sewage, etc.) - they appear to think they'll open the windows and dry it out. Replace the carpets and furniture and they are back in biz.

But given the age and value of these 1000s of homes - I'm starting to see it as a worst-case-scenario - they would need to be fully gutted. And if so - the cost of the restoration and refitting would far exceed just rebuilding the whole house.

joecaption 11-04-2012 08:35 PM

We have had to deal with two major hurracanes, a tornado, and an earth quake in this area.
First thing is they take lots of pictures then toss all the carpets and padding right in the trash. Any hardwood floors, laminite, engineered flooring is trashed.
All 1/4 round, base boards, door casing is tossed and sheetrock is removed at the 4' mark on the wall is, (there should be a seam there) cut out and tossed. Any insulation from that point on down is tossed.
An duct work that got wet is removed.
Any kitchen cabinets will now be junk.
Any partcal board subflooring or underlaymet is trashed.

Once every things out and cleaned up eveything gets sprayed with a mildicide.

denemante 11-04-2012 09:52 PM

Thanks Joe - that's what I was thinking.

Three more questions for anyone:

Bathrooms - most bathrooms have 4" porcelain-looking tile in the bathrooms up until about 4 feet. Certainly there are gaps somewhere. So would the entire bathroom typically need to be demo-ed? Tub out, toilet gone, tile off, etc.?

Subfloor - ever a need to demo the subfloor down to the joists? Especially, to clean and treat the joists.

Given that these homes are from the 40s to 60s, I don't know if there would be some kind of plywood as subfloor, or treated 2x6s. I do know there are no slabs. These homes sits on 2 or 3 cinder blocks which sit on a poured square-shaped foundation that's open in the middle. So if you punched a hole in your living room floor, you'd find Earth about 18-24 inches below. I can't envision how cleaning/treating floor joists would even be possible without removing the subfloor - and even then, not sure how dehumidification would be possible, other than leaving it open-air for many months.

Siding - Many homes had asbestos or some sort of ceramic sort of siding that was removed in the 80s. Everyone went with Texture 1-11. Then everyone went with vinyl right over top the Texture 1-11. So would you imagine that texture 1-11 under the vinyl would have soaked up the flood - so the exterior walls would need to be removed?

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