Take your time when dealing with water damage fall-out

My heart goes out to anyone experiencing flooding this year, we have had so many clients come through our doors with the same story.

Our spring and summer this year have been brutal and I know many of you are drying out your basements and trying to put your homes back together. I have been where you are and understand the frustration and work involved in cleaning out a flooded basement.

I believe that at times like these that we realize that despite all our best planning, our worry and fretting about our homes, they are just four walls that protect us from most of Mother Nature’s onslaughts. We work very hard to make our homes beautiful and it is devastating when something beyond our control happens to tear it apart.

My best advice in a situation like this is to take your time. I have witnessed a great deal of panic when people are faced with a flood as they rush to restore their homes. The hurry is understood but with water damage you need to be very careful, water is a sneaky adversary and can come back to haunt you if you aren’t careful.

Take the time to dry out your basement, use a hygrometer to constantly monitor the level of humidity in the affected rooms before you paint or install new flooring. When my basement flooded, the humidity stayed well above 70% for a few months – the crackers in my pantry upstairs were soggy! It would have been pointless to start drywall or paint when the room was still that humid.

It is also very important to double check where the leaks have happened and refer to a professional for repair of those areas. Was it a window fault or is the foundation compromised?

Foundation issues can be almost invisible so it is imperative to consult with a company that deals in seepage repair and proper maintenance for basements. It isn’t always about sealing the inside of the walls; sometimes the weeping tile needs to be repaired on the outside of the house as well.

Go carefully and ask for referrals from your insurance company, restoration companies or from other professionals you trust. The problem occurs when a large scale disaster happens, many ‘contractors’ come out of the woodwork and start knocking on people’s doors offering to fix their problem. Search for a reputable, licensed contractor who is connected with the Better Business Bureau or RenoMark. A business card alone does not guarantee quality work!

So take a deep breath, trust the professionals and referrals of people you know and start working on renewing your home. If you take the project back to the ‘foundation’ and rebuild it using the correct steps, you will be able to avoid some future damage to your home.

Working out the steps in advance will help you to achieve a successful finish to your restoration. I am always happy to help out with the final finishes and colours for your new/not so new space, please stop by and visit if you need advice.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext. 227 or email her at klewis@carpetcolourcentre.com.