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Michael Springer is a high-end remodeler from the Boulder area, and regular contributor to JLC. The September 2013 floods caused widespread devastation across 16 Colorado counties, leaving an estimated 20,000 houses damaged or destroyed. In this series of exclusive stories, Michael covers the special challenges faced by local contractors as they work to cleanup and rebuild after this disaster.

 

Guidelines for Health, Safety, and Clean Up after a Flood Disaster

There are many detailed sources of information available online from government and non-profit agencies on how to survive and then deal...


lines of wooden flotsam mark what had been the edge of the floodwaters.

Unexpected Flood Debris

A surprising amount of waste created in our recent flooding were natural materials that flowed in from the surrounding environment.


 
piles of soaked carpets, furniture, and other belongings were piled in front of houses everywhere.

Hauling and Disposing of Flood Debris

Warm weather and wet conditions made every pile of trash a moldy health risk that had to be taken care of as quickly as possible. The city...


What Possessions Can Be Saved?

Often the most important things flood victims want or need to save are the toughest to salvage such as paper documents, old photos, and...


 
these snail-shaped air movers are called carpet driers because their wide flat outlet can be tucked under carpeting.

Sanitizing and Drying Out

After removing the water and wet building materials from a flooded structure, the next crucial step is to clean and sanitize the building...


on exterior walls, wet drywall is removed to a height of four feet but furring strips are left to dry in place. after this photo was taken, the beadboard insulation was also removed to aid drying.

On Site with Habitat for Humanity

To gain access to a flooded basement site buzzing with clean up activity, I tagged along with the local Flatirons chapter of Habitat for...


 
riveting a plastic flap between the vac's hose inlet and the filter helps keep the filter dry and free from muck during wet cleanup. for dry vacuuming, the flap protects the paper filter from incoming jagged debris.

Pumping and Mucking Out

After you can gain safe re-entry to a salvageable building damaged in a flood disaster, the first step is to evacuate the water and remove...


One Week Later

Boulder and 16 other counties in Colorado are still reeling from the disastrous floods that tore through the state during the last week.


 

Flooded Boulder Creek

Pictures and videos of Boulder Creek raging through dowtown Boulder CO on the first day of the September 2013 flood


 

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