more to worry about than broken windows and leaking roofs when
inspecting a house for weather damage. You have to make sure
there's no live power in or around a house. Make doubly sure
that main breakers at the service entrance are off. If you're
in doubt, wait for the power company to come check it out.
temporary structural repairs that can be made will require
some creativity since there's likely to be a shortage of materials.
The most common repairs will involve nailing plywood or taping
heavy plastic to broken windows, ceilings and walls.
for structural damage to make sure the building is not in
danger of collapsing.
off any outside gas lines at the meter or tank and let the
house air for several minutes to remove foul odors or escaping
you must enter at night, carry a battery-operated flashlight.
Don't use a flame as a light source. Do not smoke.
out mud while it's still moist to give walls and floors
a chance to dry. Once plastered walls have dried, brush
off loose dirt. Wash with mild soap and rinse with clean
water; always start at the bottom and work up. Ceilings
are done last. It's also important to clean out heating
and plumbing systems. Clean metal at once, then wipe with
a kerosene-soaked cloth. A light coat of oil will prevent
iron from rusting.
basements should be drained and cleaned as soon as possible.
However, structural damage can occur by pumping out the
water too quickly. After the floodwater around your property
has subsided, begin draining the basement in stages, about
one third of the water volume each day.
the building has shifted or the floors have settled badly,
it may be necessary to install temporary bracing until extensive
work can be done.
prevent flooded wooden floors from buckling and warping
further, drive nails where the floor tends to lift or bulge.
loose plaster. After the house is completely dry, repair
damaged plaster on walls and ceilings. Badly damaged plaster
walls can be resurfaced with gypsum board or plywood.
Publication #: 490-305
information developed by Clemson Cooperative Extension following
Hurricane Hugo. Revised for Virginia audiences by Virginia Cooperative
more information, contact your local office of Virginia Cooperative
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in
NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder.