In the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy, thousands of homeowners along the East Coast are assessing the damage their homes sustained in the storm and will soon begin the rebuilding process. A natural disaster of this magnitude can be daunting, leaving many unsure of where to begin. If your home was affected, read the following tips before diving into the rebuilding process:
Know the code. There are certain rules that apply when rebuilding in coastal areas. While most homeowners will not know the ins and outs of these regulations, getting up to speed now can save in unnecessary delays or costs. Contact your local building code authority and discuss with your contractor to ensure that all work is in compliance.
When in doubt, take it out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends removing all porous items, such as carpet, upholstery, drywall and ceiling tiles that have been wet for more than 48 hours and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. These items can remain a source of mold growth and could pose a health threat. Always wear proper protection when removing these items to avoid any potential health risks.
Air it out. If a home has flooded and been closed up for several days, it is very likely the home has been contaminated with mold. Upon reentering the home for the first time, open windows and doors to allow the house to air out for 30 minutes or more to reduce exposure to mold. If an area larger than 10 square feet is affected, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends hiring a qualified mold remediation specialist.
Partner with a qualified contractor. Widespread disaster areas like those recovering from Hurricane Sandy often draw large numbers of contractors from out of town or out of state, so homeowners should exercise caution.
Look for Products Well-suited for Coastal Areas. There is a wide array of products that are well-suited for coastal areas. For example, vinyl or polymer siding will stand up to the weathering effects of sea salt spray. Certain roof and fence products are backed by wind warranties of up to 110 miles per hour or more.