Do you know what to do if your house floods? It’s a nightmare and a worst-case scenario for many homeowners but the scary reality is that it does happen, especially if you live in an area prone to flooding. According to CBS News, 15 million homes are at risk of flooding, and that number is expected to rise with changing climates and weather patterns. While you might not think that flooding could affect your house now, that could change in five or ten years.
If your house is flooded, you’re going to have to deal with some serious water damage. You’ll also be tasked with an important decision. Do I fix my flooded house or do I try to sell my flooded house? The answer can depend on your financial situation and whether or not you think it’s worth it to salvage the home from all the damage. If the water damage is too much or you’d simply like to move on, you can sell your flooded house quickly to a cash buyer like Nexus Homebuyers. But whatever you decide to do, let’s take a closer look at what to do if your house floods.
What to do When Your House Floods
When your house floods, there are some critical first steps that you’ll want to consider in order to minimize damage and costs as much as possible. Within 48 hours, mold and mildew are going to start setting in, especially if the water has pooled in a basement or dark space. So you want to move very fast as the longer everything remains wet the more likely it is to be damaged beyond repair. That leads to way more costs and concerns.
First, find everything that isn’t bolted to the floor and remove it from the flooded space. That means any furniture, clothing, boxes, and anything else that you can safely take out so it can begin drying. Make sure you wash clothes immediately, perhaps even taking them to a professional cleaner if you can afford it. You should also get any fabrics or upholstery cleaned as well.
If you own fans or dehumidifiers, put them on and let them do their work. See if you can borrow some from your neighbors (who hopefully aren’t flooded as well) and consider renting or buying extra ones if you can. You want to remove as much moisture and water from the house as you possibly can, especially in spaces that don’t get a lot of sunlight. They’re going to take longer to dry.
Make sure whenever you enter a flooded space that you are protecting yourself. Not only are there concerns about mold but you have no idea what chemicals or bacteria might be in that fetid water. You might also not be able to see obstructions and furniture under the water that you could walk into and injure yourself. Make sure you’re wearing waterproof boots, a good mask, rubber gloves, and you’re covered head to toe to avoid coming into contact directly with any water or mold.
Once you’ve made it inside, start documenting everything you see. Take pictures or video of all the damage. Document everything and don’t leave anything to chance. You’re going to need to report all of this to your insurance company and the more proof you can provide of the damage the better. You’ll also want to keep this handy for inspections and potential buyers so they can understand what happened.
Can You Still Live in a Water Damaged House?
The fact of the matter is that when you’re dealing with a water-damaged house, there are a lot of risks that come with living inside it, especially while the home repairs or cleanup is still happening.
The biggest risk to you and your family is mold. Pretty much right away, mold is going to start growing and it will continue to spread if left untreated. The problem is that it’s not always obvious where mold is growing, so unless you’re a professional you probably won’t be able to tell if you’ve gotten rid of all of it. You should always consider hiring a professional to inspect the house and detect any mold that might be lurking. The effects of mold can be mild but they can also post serious health risks, especially if people living in the house have allergies or other issues.
The cleanup process for a flooded home involves a lot of chemicals in order to treat water and deal with mold. That means there are likely to be toxic fumes in the house that aren’t safe for breathing and they don’t just dissipate right away. You’re not going to want your family to be inside while the chemicals are still in use.
And until you know the true extent of the damage caused by the flooding, you really shouldn’t consider the house safe for living in. You don’t really know the damage that flooding causes until a professional inspects it to see what impact it’s had on wood, floors, walls, and the foundation. And if you do find damage, that’s going to mean repairs and restorations, which means you probably don’t want to be in the house while all of that is happening.
Can You Sell a Water Damaged House?
While a water-damaged house certainly presents a lot of problems and concerns, the good news is that it is possible to sell a flooded house. You do have to decide how you want to sell your house because there are differences in terms of cost and speed.
Tips on Selling a Flooded House
The biggest decision you need to make when selling a flooded house is whether or not you sell the house on the housing market or if you sell your house fast to a cash buyer. The first option could net you more money but will also require a lot of repairs, costs, time, and real estate agent commission fees. Meanwhile, the other way means you can sell the house as-is, you don’t have to deal with a real estate agent, you don’t need to pay any fees, and you get cash in your hands for your flooded house within weeks. But if you do decide to sell your water-damaged house on the open market, let’s consider the important steps to take.
Make Major Repairs
If you’re going to sell your flooded house on the market, you’re going to want to assess the damage and figure out what needs to be repaired. And there are certain major repairs that you’ll need to consider to make your house appealing to market buyers.
The walls and floors are likely going to need to be fixed, replaced, or restored. When working with walls and flooring, you’ll want to consider neutral colors. Since you’re selling the house, you don’t have to worry about the colors you like. These colors help potential buyers visualize the home for themselves and it makes the house feel fresh. Everything about your repairs and restoration should invoke spotlessness and cleanliness. And you really don’t want to use any colors that make people think about flooded water or mold, such as blacks and greens.
When it comes to major repairs, like working on the foundation, replacing wood beams, or anything else major, you should really hire a contractor or at least get some estimates. There’s the damage you can see and there’s the damage you can’t. But a solid contractor will be able to identify it for you. When the repairs are done, you’ll want to pay for a home inspection that you can show to potential buyers. You’re really going to need to prove that the house is in great condition to get market buyers to make offers.
Identify Any Mold and Repair
One of the biggest repair concerns, when you have a flooded house with mold. Mold begins forming in as soon as 24 hours so there is no time to waste. Once it starts growing it can very hard to remove it unless you’re working with professional materials and equipment. You could possibly try to deal with it yourself but it’s always better to go with a pro who understands how to find the hidden mold and make sure it never comes back. Of course, this is going to cost you a bit but that’s the price of selling a flooded house on the market.
Redecorate if Necessary
Once you’ve made the repairs, you’ll want to make sure your house is in the best light possible. It’s not enough to show that the house has improved since the water damage, but you also have to present it in a way that keeps up with the other for-sale houses on the block. Consider bringing in a professional home stager who will stage your house in a way that is appealing to a wide range of potential buyers. You’ll also want to hire a pro photographer who can really make your listing photos pop. All of this costs money, of course, but if you’re trying to sell your house fast on the market, then it’s a cost you’ll need to spend.
Sell Your House to a Cash Home Buyer
Given everything you’ve learned about water damage, mold, the cost of cleaning, the cost of repairs, and the costs of selling your house on the market, it’s enough to make you throw your hands up and not bother. But there is a solution that can not only help you sell your flooded house fast but also do it in a way where you never have to spend one dollar on repairs or cleaning.
You can sell your house to a cash buyer like Nexus Homebuyers. We’ll buy it as-is and give you a fair cash offer regardless of the home’s condition. Once you contact Nexus, we’ll meet with you or take a look at the property virtually. Then, we’ll make you a fair cash offer based on the condition of the house without requiring you to make any repairs or clean-up. If you accept the offer, we can close the deal on your time, often within a matter of days. Then, we take the water-damaged house off your hands so you can move on from this mess and get on with your life. We buy houses all over Tennessee, from Nashville to Knoxville to Chattanooga and everywhere in-between.
Dealing with a flooded house can be stressful and a real nightmare. That can get even worse when it comes to figuring out what to do with the house afterward. But cash buyers like Nexus Homebuyers are here to help you by buying your flooded or water-damaged house as-is and giving you cash for it.