The recent flooding in Houston was devastating. Hurricane Harvey unleashed rains that caused extensive damage to the city and nearby areas. It’s estimated that more than 180,000 houses in Houston have been badly damaged. If you were in the middle of trying to sell your Houston home, you might be wondering what your options are. How can you sell a house that’s been flooded?
Remove Damaged Areas
Image via Flickr by Chabad.org
The first thing you’ll have to do is remove whatever is damaged due to the flooding. This will start with the floors. Remove all of the flooring materials, including the subfloors. In addition to flooring, remove all drywall that touched the flood.
Everything needs to be completely dry before you can start replacing anything. Get large fans and dehumidifiers to help quicken the timeline. Mold starts to grow within 48 to 72 hours, so if you don’t get things dried out right away, you might be dealing with worse problems. Dehumidifiers pull moisture out of the wood, including wood floors and framing wood, which is important to keeping the integrity of the home. Remember that you want to keep all windows and doors closed while running the dehumidifier so it’s the most effective.
Get the Proper Permits
It might be tempting to get right in and start fixing the damaged areas so you can get your home back on the market and find some normalcy as quickly as possible. However, don’t forget the essential step of getting the proper Houston permits. If you’re working with a building contractor, he or she will deal with this process. If you’re planning on doing the repairs yourself, you’ll be responsible for this step.
Permits may seem like a pain, but they’re actually a benefit to you. They ensure that the work you did was done properly. If any potential buyers are worried about whether there is mold lurking under the carpet or behind walls, the inspection reports will help alleviate those fears. If you want additional proof, schedule a home inspection specifically to look for mold.
Add to the Home to Prevent Future Flood Damage
There are some things you can do to your home that help decrease the chances of damage due to flooding in the future. For example, you could have outdoor units, such as air conditioning units, elevated. You can also add backflow valves to internal plumbing, which will prevent sewage from backing up into the house in the event of another severe flood. This can help give potential buyers peace of mind.
Improve Your Curb Appeal
As you go through and improve things inside the home, don’t forget to give some attention to the outdoors as well. Though curb appeal is always important to selling a home, it might be easy forget about what damage the flood did to your flowers and grass. You might even take the time to upgrade your landscaping to protect against future floods, such as changing the slope of the yard as added flood protection.
Trying to sell a house right after a flood can be scary. The best thing to do is take a deep breath and write a to-do list. Take it step by step.