real estate

7 tips to renovating after a natural disaster

Repair the basement, for better
Repair the basement, for better

If your basement had moisture issues in the past, now's a good time to fix that problem if you're remodeling post-disaster. A basement specialist can suggest the best ways to maintain a moisture-free basement, which might include a combination of sump pumps, perimeter drainage tiles, a French drain and making sure water is pumped away from the home.

Costs vary depending on the drainage system and the house, but Ellis estimates that perimeter drainage tile alone can cost $8,000 to $10,000. It's more expensive because it's more work to install after the house is built, requiring a breaking up of the concrete around the house footings.

Make sure to pay attention to the land surrounding the basement when remodeling as well, especially if areas have been washed away. The outside grading is just as important as the drainage systems inside. "Make sure the grading slopes away from the house. Where the earth slopes toward the house, that causes problems," says Ellis.

While floodwater damage requires ripping out affected materials, such as drywall, insulation and flooring, it also requires deodorizing and bleaching anything left behind. Water damage from rainfall or a burst pipe is less of an issue, says Ellis. He recommends drying out the area using different types of sump systems and internal guttering systems.


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