Can an RV with water or flood damage be repaired?
Right now it is flooding in southeast Texas, where heavy rain has been falling since Wednesday night September 17, 2014. It all began with strong storms converging around Austin. There storms drifted east to Houston, Texas and haven’t let up on Thursday morning, causing flash flooding in the northern Houston metro. The storm system extends as far west as Arizona.
In Cleveland, Texas, about 45 miles northeast of Houston, there have been reports of 4.5 inches of rain thus far on Thursday. Over four inches of rain has fallen in the Houston suburbs of Spring, Texas. Radar estimates suggest widespread rainfall totals of four to seven inches.
With all that rain in Texas, there will definitely be some flooded RV’s, flooded motorhomes, and flood damage travel trailers. Can any of these Texas flood damaged RV’s be fixed?
When the east coast suffered the flooding from Hurricane Sandy, there were many campgrounds and private lands that flooded damaging many RV’s. Many units were totaled by insurance companies and sent to salvage yards. But instead of destroying the units, many were sold at auction for very little money. These same flood damaged RV’s were purchased by private owners and unscrupulous RV dealers who were looking to make a quick flip dollar with no concerns for who they are selling them to.
These RV’s have taken on contaminated as well as holding water in the insulation in the floors and walls which will eventually start breeding mold spores. These types of mold can be harmful and even deadly to you and your families. Even a unit that looks extremely clean on the outside and inside that was in a flood will develop issues like these down the road.
Flooded RV’s can be salvaged, depending on the extent of the flooding, but the repairs must be performed by a top quality RV repair center. Due to our proximity to Houston, we are ready and fully equipped to handle are your RV flood damage right from our shop here in the Dallas Ft. Worth Texas area.
There are some steps that you can take to help repair your RV flood damage on your own, but please talk with your insurance company before you do anything to your RV. It might be difficult to resist the urge to go in and start cleaning up the flood damage, but if you want an accurate appraisal, wait to speak to your agent.
Here is what you can do to help restore your flood damaged RV:
First, you start by cleaning out all mud and debris. You rip out all floor coverings, wallboard and insulation and clean out all mud. You remove covering beneath the RV and all insulation and clean out mud and debris. Everything must be opened up and dried out and all flood damaged materials removed. All cavities must be opened up and cleaned out and allowed to dry out. Depending on temperature and humidity, it can take several weeks to several months for the RV to completely dry out. Dehumidifiers and fans can expedite the drying process. A moisture meter can help you determine if wood products have dried out enough. 15% or less is usually good. If 20% or greater, there can be decay.
You may have to hose out the home to get mud out of cavities. Removing all mud and debris and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces with bleachand water solution can eliminate odors and mold and mildew.
If the manufacturers used OSB for their flooring under carpet/tile/ wood- you can expect a mushy floor that will need to be replaced. If you find an old one with particle board, you won’t be able to even walk in it.
What about RV Flood insurance?
Let’s say you bought your RV used a few years ago for $40,000. Your RV’s book value now is only $25,000 and the insurance company will try to offer you much less as a total. If you are upside down on your RV loan, you might want to seriously consider repairing the damage.
Does your RV have metal siding? If it has laminated sides (filon or fiberglass) then you will have styrofoam insulation, which won’t absorb water like pink or yellow fiberglass in the walls. Get that de-humidifier going a.s.a.p. and open up all the cupboards and covers that you can find.
If you have siding, and can get, it inside, maybe rather than rip out the walls, cupboards etc., remove the siding and work from the outside- in. Once all the siding is off, insulation can be removed, without disturbing too much of the internal wiring. You’ll also get a good look at the back of your wall panels and decide which ones are beyond repair, or can be saved.
The main thing to take care of now is to make sure that it’s thoroughly dried out, even if you have to wait extra weeks to begin repairs. In an RV there is just no place for that moisture to escape. That’s the reason why so many have rotting problems. When a leak occurs and is not taken care of, that water gets trapped and starts to rot the wood at an accelerated pace. So whatever happens just be sure that it is fully dried before reconstruction. It should have fans in it, windows open, whatever it takes, just make sure they do it, and double check yourself if you can. Pay attention to the corners and areas not easily accessible.
We can handle the repair of your flood damaged RV including all the work involved in drying it out. It is just a matter of your budget, comfort level, and what your insurance company is offering.
Each situation will be different. If your RV has been damaged by flooding in Texas or while out on the road, be sure to contact us now at Coach Specialists of Texas for a free RV flood damage repair estimate.