A homeowner’s worst nightmare is the idea that your house could be flooded and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. It could happen because of a natural disaster or bad storm. It could also happen because of faulty pipes or human error. You can do only so much to prepare and prevent water damage, but if flooding strikes your property, you have an important decision to make. And that decision revolves around one question: Should I try to repair the damage or should I sell my house?
The answer to that question depends on a few key factors, including the extent of the damage, your financial situation, your timeframe, and whether or not it’s worth it to you to fix your flooded home. If you do decide to sell but don’t have the wherewithal to fix the water damage, you can get a fair cash offer for your house as-is from a real estate investor like Jamie Buys Houses. But before you make that decision, it’s important to know what would go into attempting to repair a house that’s flooded.
If You Intend to Repair, Do It ASAP
The most important thing you can do when you find out your house has flooded is to move as quickly as possible. It only takes 48 hours for mold to start setting in, especially if the water is still pooling. The longer things stay wet the more likely they are to be destroyed or permanently damaged. Once that happens you’re talking about a whole other level of financial obligations.
The first thing you should do is get every item that isn’t bolted down out of the flooded area. This will include all furniture, clothing, storage boxes, and anything else that isn’t physically part of the house. Get everything to a place where it can dry or be cleaned immediately in order to cut down on any water or mold damage. Clothing needs to be washed quickly and thoroughly so either put that in the wash or find a cleaner who can handle it. Upholstery and other fabrics should go to a professional cleaner who understands how to deal with it.
Break out all of your fans and dehumidifiers and see if you can borrow more from neighbors or friends. They will dry the wet area and pull moisture out of the house, which is especially important for basements and darker spaces that often take longer to dry.
If you need to enter a flooded space, make sure you’re protected. You have no idea what is lurking in that water, which can include chemicals and bacteria. You might also not be able to see some obstructions or sharp objects hidden below the surface. Get some waterproof boots, a good mask, and strong rubber gloves to protect yourself.
Once you’re in the flooded space, start documenting everything. Take pictures, take video, and take notes. Don’t leave anything to assumption, document it all. Every part of the home that has been affected should be on the record. This is especially important if you’re going to report the flood damage to insurance or need to prove what happened to a potential buyer.
Repair What You Can
Even if you’re not going to sell the house, you’ll want to know how much it will cost to repair the damage. If you do plan to sell the house on the open market, you will almost certainly need to do full repairs because buyers are going to run far away from a water-damaged house that they would need to pay to clean up. In fact, even if you do repair the house back to its original form, the fact that it was flooded and had significant water damage will always be a red flag.
One of the big things to do when fixing walls and flooring is to consider neutral colors. Regardless of what the house used to look like, these colors help potential buyers visualize the home for themselves and it also gives the space a refreshing, clean look. You want everything to invoke spotlessness and cleanliness. You most certainly don’t want to use any colors that make people think of water or mold (greens, blues, blacks).
Even if you are considering repairing the house yourself, you’ll want a contractor to come by for an estimate. There’s the damage you can see and there’s the damage you can’t see and a good contractor will know how to spot both of them. You may even want to get multiple assessments in order to make sure you’re seeing everything. Once repairs are done, also consider getting a home inspection that you can show to potential buyers. They’re going to want as much proof as possible that the damage is gone and the home is in top shape again.
Of course, there’s will a cost. Flood damage is pervasive, affecting floors, walls, fixtures, pipes, and so many other things. To say nothing of the effect of mold and how to minimize it. Keep all of that in mind before trying to rush a house sale on the open market.
Don’t Hide the Damage
It may seem overwhelming to repair a house with flood and water damage. You might feel inclined to just slap a fresh coat of paint on the affected rooms and hope for the best. But that is a really bad idea. Buyers and their lenders are going to want to do their own inspections anyway, so they’re going to find out. And if they find out this way, they’ll probably walk away on principle since it will feel like you’ve lied or withheld information.
You might even find yourself in legal trouble. It’s happened many times where someone bought a home and found out about flood damage after the fact, only to take the seller to court where the seller not only had to pay financial penalties but also make good on the things they didn’t mention beforehand.
Sell Your Home As-Is
Given everything that happens after a house floods, it’s no surprise that trying to repair the house can be a financial nightmare, especially if you don’t have insurance or your insurance company refuses to cover it. It’s also extremely hard to list a flood-damaged house on the open market and expect to find a buyer willing to pay full price for the house.
You contact Jamie Buys Houses and let us know your situation. We’ll meet with you or come take a look at the property. We’ll make a fair cash offer based on the current condition of the house and without requiring you to make any repairs or upgrades. If you agree, we can close the deal on your time, often within a matter of days. Then, we take the house off your hands quickly so you can move on from this watery mess and get on with your life. Consider reaching out to Jamie Buys Houses today to get a quote on your home or property.