Flooding is an unfortunate and an unfortunately common disaster for homeowners. It can damage or ruin cherished items, carpets, walls, etc. Moreover, we have absolutely no control over floods, or how much damage they can do. The best we can do is to get flood insurance, and ensure that flood remediation is done right. As a general rule, professionals need to be called in whenever there is flooding, whether to do the flood restoration themselves, or at least to test for mold. With flood damage, toxic mold will start to grow within 48 hours of getting wet and if not properly cleaned or disposed of, will continue to grow. This is a dangerous health hazard, and not something you want to take any risks with.
Sometimes, flood damage will require emergency water extraction. This is usually done with large water extraction vacuums. This is, obviously, the first step of flood restoration. It is a dangerous step because there is standing water, and the electricity is usually still on. You will need to call your utilities service provider to get it turned off before the water is extracted. After removing all of the water, the deep dehumidification process begins. This is most effectively done with dehumidifiers, but fans and open windows and vents will help the process as well. Also, all items in the flood area should also be removed as soon as possible. Find more information about how to keep my home from experiencing flood damage.
What walls and flooring can be saved should be immediately cleaned to prevent mold growth. You can clean it yourself with a vinegar solution, or leave it up to professionals. Depending upon the severity of the flooding, however, drywall and flooring may need to be removed and disposed of. Wet carpeting will also often need to be thrown out, but professional services can sometimes clean and dry carpeting enough so that it can be kept. Once everything is dehumidified (how long this will take depends upon the equipment used, the ventilation of the room, and whether you are doing it yourself or have hired professionals), re-building takes place. This is when any damaged drywall and flooring is replaced. Of course, before this can be done, you need to have the area tested for mold. If the area is not completely dry, and you build over those wet areas, mold will continue to grow and become an expensive, hazardous nightmare. It is extremely important to have your home professionally tested for mold after a flood.
Professionals vs. DIY
Again, to what extent you have professional help and how much you do on your own is up to you. Professionals are specially trained to do this job, and have special equipment that does the job most effectively and quickly that the general population does not have access to. However, if you choose to do the task on your own, be very careful every step of the way. Because of the mold risk, water damage is not something to be taken lightly.