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Repairs

This page contains information about repairing your house after a flood.

Draining under the house

It may be necessary to dig a pit or cut a trapdoor in the floor to pump out the water that has collected. 

If you do not feel confident doing this, get advice from a licensed tradesperson. 

Increase the airflow under the house by digging out plants and leaving the access doors open. 

Outdoor shed 

Hand tools should be dried - a blow drier will help.  Electrical tools should be checked by a licensed electrician before use.

Use a water-repelling spray such as WD-40 lubricant on hinges and joints.

Sporting equipment can be cleaned using normal cleaning products and disinfectant. Paints and poisons should be disposed of appropriately and safely.

Barbecue

You should have a licensed plumber check the gas fittings for your barbecue.

Clean and disinfect the barbecue plate thoroughly.

Concrete block work

Mud on the walls will make them look unsightly. It can stick firmly but will not have a serious effect.

Mud should be cleaned off using water, detergent and a stiff nylon or bristle brush.

It is not a good idea to use acid to clean walls as this can cause staining.

As the walls dry out there is a fair risk of white salt growth on the bricks or block work.

This is not serious and should stop when the wall is fully dried. In most cases it can be removed by brushing with a hard broom. Acid treatments may be effective as a last resort.

Floors

Do not attempt to straighten warped or buckled wood floors until they have dried out. Wood and plywood expand when wet but return to near-original dimensions when dry.

Flooring may require replacing, refastening or refinishing. If there is any uncertainty, wait until after drying is complete to make the decision.

Remove floor coverings to allow the flooring to dry. Mop off excess water as soon as possible.

Mould

Read cleaning up for information on preventing mould. 

Brickwork

Do not rush into brickwork repairs. 

Wait until there is a fair chance the home has dried out and all movement has ceased before patching any cracks.

Some cracks may actually close up as the foundation dries out.

Minor cracks are not serious in brick veneer structures as there is usually a large margin of structural safety. 

Joinery

Do not rush into repairing things until the timber has had a chance to dry.

A door may have swollen and jammed while it is still wet. Wait until it is dry - it will probably fit again.

It may help to take off the architraves to help drying.

Particle board

Particle board is likely to lose strength after being wet.

Any parts carrying weight should be very carefully checked, particularly if they show any sign of swelling.

Plaster sheet

Plaster sheet is very weak when wet but may recover its strength when dry.

If it is obviously damaged, get any load off it and let it dry. It will probably be alright, particularly if reinforced with glass fibre.