We all know that hurricanes can cause major flooding, but here in the Lone Star state, we also sadly see that a Texas thunderstorm can dump enough rain in a short period of time to cause flood damage in homes and businesses.
On May 9, a set of heavy storms poured through the Houston region, leaving water-damaged houses in their wake in Fort Bend County as well as in the Kingwood area. Green Star Eco Services was immediately called to respond to three homes in Needville (Fort Bend County, near Rosenberg). Because water damage can become more extensive as time passes, it’s important to bring us in as soon as possible.
One particular house backs up to a drainage ditch with a levee on the other side, so the adjoining property with cattle did not flood. This house took on 18” of water. All the hardwood floors were removed and are unsalvageable. The sheetrock was cut out. The appliances are ruined and need to go. The couches are goners too. Flooding is incredibly disruptive and upsetting, and there is a desire to get back to normal as soon as possible. But a crucial step with flood restoration is sanitization.
Floodwater is full of pollutants and leaves behind bacteria. Plus, once building material is wet, it only takes 48 hours for mold to form. This is why our antimicrobial treatment is so important. We use an eco-friendly sanitizer called Cal-Brite. It is non-toxic, biodegradable and organic.
After we spray Cal-Brite onto studs, subfloors, joists, etc., we dry out the interior space with axial fans and dehumidifiers. The studs and other porous materials need to dry out to the point that moisture meters only show 16% readings before new sheetrock goes up on the walls. Otherwise, that material would just become moldy from any higher levels of moisture, said Cabot Rank, a Green Star Eco Services supervisor.
What we do is rotate our fans around to make sure we get every single stud in the house that has been affected so that we properly and thoroughly dry out everything before rebuilding can begin.
If it were to rain again outside – but not flood – while the envelope of the house remains open during this intermediate part of the restoration process, there will be more moisture in the air, but the studs themselves should continue to dry while our fans and dehumidifiers are running.
By using dehumidifiers, the Cal-Brite sanitizer soaks into porous material and then dries, so it cleans everything, including the studs, Cabot added.
Once the readings reach the 16% level or below, we inform the property owner they are clear to start rebuilding.
If you ever flood, whether from a rain event or a plumbing problem, reach out to us right away. We are available to take your call 24-7: 281-410-5564 in the greater Houston/Galveston region or 512-999-7505 in Texas Hill Country.
Cabot is a Texas licensed mold remediation contractor (MRC1437) who lives in Houston with his wife and two children. Rumor has it he studied English, played college tennis and previously worked as a natural gas trader.