Water damage in Seattle: Inspection checklist
This is a brief list of the things to be concerned about after a flood.
Check to see if any of your HVAC systems have been damaged. Before you can even do this, you need to make sure that the power is working. Then check heater and air conditioner filters, condensation pans, and heat pump compressor grilles to make sure that they are free of debris and mud clogs. Also check venting lines. Soft lines are in danger of being water logged.
Check plumbing for possible back flow danger. Back flows are a public health hazard. Most new systems have back flow preventer installed, but many houses still don’t have them if they’ve never been retrofitted.
Remove any water damaged important papers and personal belongings that are irreplaceable. Many of your important items like birth certificates, passports, deeds and titles should be and reclaimed from a flood as soon as possible.
Check the crawlspace to see if the flooded area is draining or needs to be pumped. Water in the crawlspace can ruin floors, insulation, erode foundations and create an incurable mold issue.
Muck out crawl space and living quarters, if needed. After a natural flood everything in a home is covered in mud. The same holds true with everything that is in the crawlspace. This fouls out insulation and soft vents that will act like a sponge. Soft vents that have a chance to grow mold will blow spores right into an air-conditioned environment. So, they will need to be replaced. Vapor barriers will have to be removed so that water can drain properly into the dirt.
Dry out crawlspace and living quarters. This will require a working household heating system, as well as specialty carpet dryers and fans.
Inspect wallboard, flooring and from underneath sub-flooring, for permanent water damage and possible remediation. Wallboard manufacturers caution that it only takes an hour of contact with water for a gypsum board to start disintegrating. Floors are often made of high-density particleboard that also falls apart rapidly with water contact.