Floods can cause untold damage to the environment, communities, and infrastructure. They leave homeowners and landowners facing a lengthy and complicated restoration process. When floods occur, the resulting water damage is usually massive, and the extent of the destruction may not be immediately visible. Understanding what restoration entails, how it's done, and why is essential for everyone to take part in restoring land post-flooding.
What is Flood Damage?
Flood damage is the loss or destruction of property, facilities, land, or natural resources caused by the rise of the water level of streams, rivers, lakes, or ocean basins. It is a common event when it comes to natural disasters, especially during hurricanes, tsunamis, and other natural phenomena.
The most noticeable damage is typically water damage, which comes with it's own set of issues and consequences. Significant water damage can be a result of several factors, including rising groundwater levels, intense rainfall, or storms. These natural forces can lead to mudslides, erosion, and destructive flooding— all of which can lead to costly and lengthy restoration processes.
Standing water is a body of liquid that has pooled in an area, and it is often the result of flooding. It can be caused by intense rainfall, overflowing rivers and streams, or other floods. Standing water can cause major damage to homes, businesses, and other structures due to its ability to erode foundations or enter through cracks and crevices in buildings.
Standing water can also cause significant health issues as it is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects. Floods are often the most dangerous form of standing water because the water rises quickly and can enter buildings before they are properly evacuated or protected. Floods also bring debris, mud, and other particulates that can damage structures even further. Standing water can be dangerous and costly, requiring significant clean-up efforts after a flood event.
How to Restore Flooded Land
The restoration process is long and complicated because it involves working with insurance companies, conservation authorities, and the local government. First, it starts with evaluating the extent of flood damage: How much water damage is there? What was the cause of the flooding? What materials have been damaged? Then, cleaning up the area begins, including removing debris, contaminated water, and other toxic substances. Restoration crews rid this waste from the flooded area, and debris removal is done in the same way. Contractors can also stabilize water-saturated soil through the use of silt fences, temporary seeding, or digging trenches.
Once the flooding has passed, the process of drying out flooded land can be lengthy and unpredictable. Everywhere that was flooded needs to be dried out in order for people to access it again. It's important to start this process as soon as possible to prevent further damage and reduce mold growth inside buildings and homes.
The process involves draining any standing water, pumping out sewage or other runoff, and then using fans, dehumidifiers, or other specialized drying equipment until all materials reach an acceptable moisture level.
Flood insurance can help protect people from financial losses due to flooding. People who live in areas where flooding is likely should consider purchasing flood insurance in order to cover potential damages that may occur during a flood event.
Flood insurance can help pay for repairs such as replacing flooring, furniture, appliances, and electronics, as well as covering the cost of the drying process described above.
Having flood insurance can also help reduce stress when dealing with flooding since it helps cover costs that would otherwise come straight from a person’s pocket.
Long-Term Effects of Flooding
Land restoration after flooding doesn't only involve cleaning up the place after disaster strikes. It also involves addressing the long-term effects of flooding. Floods can ruin infrastructure, roads, buildings, and homes, and harm the ecosystem by killing plant and animal life. In some cases, floods halt people's access to basic resources, including food, clean water, and other necessities, while also disrupting the livelihoods of entire communities. It is, therefore, essential to ensure ongoing environmental restoration projects in the affected areas following a flood, such as planting new trees or re-vegetation in the area.
Floods can take a heavy toll on the environment and the welfare of individuals residing in the affected regions. Worse still, the aftermath of flooding can leave long-lasting scars and continue to affect communities long after the water has subsided. Do you know if you are in a flood zone? Get a free property report of your land and see if you are located in a 100-year flood zone.