Posts Tagged ‘flood’

Integrating Resilience & Energy Efficiency in Existing Homes

May 22, 2013

This was a topic at national conference recently and a very relevant one.   As we respond and react to the terrible tragedy in Oklahoma I urge you to consider what it means to you and your home. remains of homes

The “opportunity” to rebuild thinly veils the great loss that has occurred and my heart goes out to those in need.  Let us also take this “opportunity” to make those homes better and all of ours.

Our homes should be safe places and while some natural disasters cannot be avoided no matter the type of building, it is important to consider saftey first.  For those homes that survive events like this or Hurricane Sandy, the ability to weather the storm longer is, in my mind, the strongest argument for energy efficiency.

Properly sheltered from the elements, a well insulated and air sealed home lasts longer in the extreme heat or cold.  Energy efficient lighting and appliances and their reduced load are better suited for alternative power supplies such as battery back-up or generators.

Take this “opportunity” to help now, here are some resources, and help plan for the future too.



Cleaning up those basements after the flood

April 28, 2011

Something we may have to get used to:  Heavy rains in the Northeast are causing flooding like we saw in California earlier in the year.

And many people whose basements never flood are taking on water.

This might be a good time to touch on flood cleanup.  Water from flooding can create real problems.  When things get wet for more than a couple of days they usually get moldy. Add that to bugs and other microbes that come in during flooding or that thrive on moist conditions, and you’ve got a problem.

So if you’ve had flooding in the house, it’s important to clean and dry your house and everything in it as quickly as possible.  First, get the water out.  Throw away anything that was wet with flood water and can’t be rapidly dried and cleaned.  This includes not only belongings, but things like insulation and drywall, too.  And use fans (if the air is dry) or a dehumidifier to speed drying.

Clean and dry hard surfaces such as floors, walls, furnishings, etc.  Use a detergent or use a cleaner that kills germs.  Do not mix cleaning products together or add bleach to other cleaning products—this may generate and release toxic chemicals that can hurt or even kill you.

If you’ve got mold, you can clean it up—however if there is more than 10 square feet (about a 3 foot by 3 foot area), you may want to hire a professional to clean up the mold.  [See EPA’s mold cleanup recommendations.]

After you’ve solved the immediate cleanup, you’ll want to think about long-term prevention—keeping the water out—so you don’t have to do this again.  We’ll touch on that in another post later.

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