What to do if Your Houston Home Gets Flood Damage?

Updated June 15, 2021
plumber wading through flooded basement
Gary Terrell, a plumber with Godby Heating Plumbing Electric in Indianapolis, trudges through a customer's flooded basement after her sump pump failed during heavy rains. (Photo by Doug McSchooler)

Houston has a flooding problem.

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There is no debate that the city of Houston suffers from a problematic water system, a steady parade of tropical storms, and many areas of the municipality that are perpetually prone to flooding. Owning a Houston home, especially in flood prone area, means homeowners should learn about and prepare for flooding and flood damage.  It's important to keep a list of local agencies and contractors in Houston that could help if in case of flooding.

After the Deluge

You may feel panicked when seeing a lot of water, but it's important to stay focused and follow this checklist of things to do immediately after your Houston home floods:

  * Take photographs and video of the damaged portions of your home

  * Call your insurance company right away

  * Document everything and keep it safe

  * Assess the quality and freshness of food stored in your refrigerator and freezer; if in doubt, throw it out

  * Remove as much water as you can without risking your own safety

  * Remove water-soaked carpets and rugs

  * Contact a mold inspection in Houston and remediation company

  * If you know where your circuit breaker panel is and how to operate the breakers, consider turning off power to concerning areas like appliances, basements, and outlets

  * Call a Houston restoration service

You can also reach out to Houston's own agencies for emergency help: 

  * The City of Houston's public works department

  * Houston Public Works water service 

  * The Houston Water District Management

Assess the damage yourself, if you can do so safely. If basement or kitchen appliances have been compromised, consider unplugging them or turning off power to them. Dryers, washers, stoves, refrigerators and freezers all have moving mechanical and electrical parts that can suffer real damage from standing water.

Flood Damage Effects

If new to the Houston area, or unaware of the extent of damage a flood can cause to a home. Consider this sad roll of issues: 

  * Foundation cracks from water pressure, seepage

  * Mold and mildew growth, exposing your family to harmful health problems

  * Poor indoor air quality from high humidity, spores in the air, and bacteria

  * Home value depreciation

  * Ruined floors, walls, molding, cabinets, closet and bedroom doors

  * Risk of electrical fires from wet junction boxes, outlets, and switches

  * Soaked and ruined personal belongings, family heirlooms, and furniture

The momentary panic will subside, but long-term damage to your home can cause your house's curb appeal and home value to plummet, which happens in flood prone areas of Houston. You have to act quickly and on multiple fronts: appliance repair and replacement, foundation work, and drywall are each equally critical to your family's wellbeing and your home's value. 

Preventing Flood Damage

You can get a jump on Mother Nature and do a lot to prevent or limit flood damage to your Houston home. A few dollars invested before the next tropical storm could save you thousands later on: 

  * Have your foundation inspected and waterproofed by experts from the outside; this usually involves trenching to expose the foundation to the footers, but it can prevent seepage, cracks, and upheaval

  * Have a sump pump installed so that it responds immediately when water accumulates and helps minimize damage in manageable cases or small storms

  * Have doors and window areas sealed as tight as possible, or add storm windows or doors for further protection

  * Dehumidifiers can help lower the cost of damage, improve indoor air quality, and make for a happier, healthier home

Working with contractors to repair flood damage

Luckily, flood damage brings out the best in neighbors and friends around Houston. Unfortunately, it also brings out the worst in storm chasers trying to get easy money from folks already down, as well as insurance scams that boast coverages that don't exist. You can avoid scams related to flood damage by trying these strategies:

  * Use reviews and ratings by real local clients

  * Use online serivces like Angie's List for reliable connections to real contractors

  * Get multiple bids before hiring professionals to help with flood mitigation

  * Read all contracts before signing and don't give all money upfront

  * Use your insurance company and the insurance adjuster as resources for help

  * Know who can really provide a service and who is just circling like a vulture: real companies include restoration companies, foundation repair services, drywall contractors, carpet installers, appliance repair and installation specialists, and flooring companies

  * Flood damage scammers include so-called "handyman" services, companies with no local address, and organizations falsely claiming connections to city government

Top-rated pros in Houston for flood damage repair

Houston restoration companies:

Mundae Cleaning & Restoration Services

ServiceMaster Restoration & Cleaning

Morningstar Restoration Inc.

24/7 AquaDry

Elite Emergency Solutions

Green Star Eco Services

Houston contractors:

Capmire Projects

Home Remedy LLC

Crosstown Engineering and Home Inspection

Floors For Living

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