Real Estate

Traveling for Summer? Avoid coming back to a flooded home!

July 9, 2018, 11:38 AM HST
* Updated October 19, 2:15 PM
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Information in this article is provided in part by Premier Restoration Hawaii.

Bags are packed and you’re ready to head out to enjoy your summer vacation!  You’ve worked hard all year and you’re finally ready to break free and not worry about the daily stresses of life.  Before you head out, it’s worth the effort to spend just a few minutes to protect your home from flooding while you’re away. Making the effort may save you and your family tons of unneeded stress and help you avoid huge costs.  We know you have heard horror stories from other homeowners, coming back to a flooded home is no way to come back from vacation.

Below are a few ways flooding can be avoided while you’re away on vacation –

  • Make sure nonessential appliances and water supply lines are shut off
  • Have somebody who you trust who can check on your property periodically.
  • Rare, but ensure your pets are not going to activate water in some way.

Below is a list of common ways homes can flood –

-Ac condenser leak (if your AC is going to run while you’re away. Make sure it’s properly maintained and somebody who can check on it).


Piping infrastructure failure- unexpected plumbing leaks (especially if you live in a multiunit structure).


If you have experienced a flood and your carpet was damaged, can it be saved? Well, that depends. 

Because carpets tend to be highly permeable allowing for a high degree of evaporation, carpets are most often salvageable if the water source of the cause of the flood is a clean water source. Clean water can be thought of as Tap water or anything you could drink directly from.  However, if it is a Category 2 commonly gray water discharges from non sewage facilities like dishwater or cloths washer OR Category 3 dirtier water that contains microbials like bacteria and viruses , commonly sewage the carpet and carpet pad should always be removed and replaced following extraction.  

With cat 2 and 3 water, if a carpet gets wet, best practices require removing the carpet pad (the layer beneath the top carpet). Carpet pads commonly have vapor barriers that trap moisture and retain microbial contaminants. Removing and drying of carpet is a subset of a much larger job, and costs depend on quality of the carpet and square foot impacted. Basically, the cost of drying or replacing Depends on what you bought to begin with; for ex. commercial grade is less expensive than many residential settings.   



Floating the carpet is a method employed to salvage water damaged carpet.  When floating the carpet, the wet carpet is lifted from the subfloor by removing the carpet from the carpet tack strips, and after discarding the wet, unsalvageable carpet pad beneath, a layer of warm, dry air from an air mover is applied to dry out the carpet and the subfloor beneath it with one or a number of airmovers.   To allow optimal evaporation of additional moisture in the air and the water damaged carpet, dehumidifiers are set up in the home and monitored on a daily basis to ensure that atmospheric moisture levels are steadily decreasing.  

Structural drying related to a water loss can take anywhere from 3 to 9 days on average depending on the level of moisture and drying conditions. If you’re in a humid place and you cannot seal the home, it is going to take a little longer since outside humidity will affect drying conditions. Environmental, structural, and moisture content all weigh in on the length of time it takes to complete the drying.

Cost varies on the scope of the problem, commonly from $5,000 up to $35,000 plus for the average residential water loss; however, water losses can quickly grow in cost without quick and proper response..

Also, should you experience a flood, remember that there are no short cuts! improper drying can lead to much more extensive and expensive problems that can require professional mold removal. Doing it right the first time, every time is so important to foregoing large needs down the road that can cost you tens of thousands more.


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