The problem does not end after floodwaters have receded. Not only do floods take human lives, but they also damage property, destroy crops, and spread waterborne illnesses.
In recent years, flooding has become more frequent and affected more households across the United States. Hurricanes are growing stronger, dumping more rainwater in areas that do not typically experience flooding.
Things are about to get worse. Scientists predict that particularly strong storms will become the new normal in the coming years if the world continues to emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere unmitigated.
Aside from the damage to property caused by extreme weather events, households that have survived flooding can expect to find some other problems in their homes.
The Presence of Pests After a Flood
After a flood, it is not uncommon for affected houses to see pests. Floods force animals, including rodents, out of their natural habitats, and, sometimes, they end up in homes to escape the rising level of water. Houses that have experienced flooding might find rats and mice hiding in their attics, walls, and even parked cars.
On the other hand, insects like cockroaches thrive in environments that are wet and humid. A flooded home, therefore, is the perfect place for the insects to proliferate.
Moreover, floodwaters can cause sewers to overflow, which brings organic material overground. This attracts flies. Flies are also attracted to damp materials such as wet paper, cardboard boxes, and the rotting food left behind by those who escaped when the water started rising. Thus, homeowners might notice more flies than usual in the neighborhood after a storm.
Mold Growth Problem
Mold will also be a common issue in flooded homes. Mold thrives in places where there is excess moisture. A home that has suffered from flooding, therefore, is the perfect environment for mold growth.
Mold is dangerous. It releases spores that, if inhaled, can exacerbate respiratory conditions. It can cause coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and other unpleasant symptoms. In addition, it causes dark spots on the walls, ceilings, and anywhere it has established its presence. It is impossible to ignore or hide an infestation because it produces a musty odor even if residents are not allergic to its spores. When left unchecked, the problem can become so severe that the entire wall, ceiling, or floors will need to be replaced.
Mold can become an expensive problem, and it is a health risk. Homeowners will need to remove mold by themselves or call a professional team to get rid of the infestation as soon as possible.
Demand for Products and Services After Natural Disasters
Natural weather events such as hurricanes and floods create demand for products and services related to home repairs and improvements.
Entrepreneurs who want to help their communities should open and invest in a pest control service or a mold removal franchise. Both will see an increase in inquiries and bookings after a storm, mainly if there is flooding involved. Coastal areas are more prone to flooding but, because of climate change, weather patterns are changing. Other places might see increased rainfall and rising floodwater because of more potent and more frequent hurricanes.
In fact, the highest rainfall events in the history of the U.S. happened in the past decade. Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in 2017, was a Category 4 hurricane. It dumped a total rainfall amount of 60 inches at two locations in Texas, the heaviest recorded rainfall the country has seen. The hurricane killed 89 people and left $128 billion in damage. The more recent Tropical Storm Henri of August 2021 dumped two months’ worth of rain within a day and a half in New York City. Between 10 and 11 p.m. on August 21, 1.94 inches of rainwater fell in the city, becoming the rainiest hour on record.
Other products and services also receive huge demands after severe weather events. Batteries, for example, see an increase in sales before a storm as consumers stock up in preparation for possible power outages. Generator companies also benefit from natural disasters. In addition, home improvement companies like Home Depot, Walmart, and Lowes become very busy whenever it is hurricane season in the U.S.
While businesses cannot rely on extreme weather for sustainable growth and financial success, there is clearly a demand for products and services related to home repairs and improvement when a natural disaster strikes. These events destroy property, and obviously, people will want to rebuild their lives once the weather becomes better again. Entrepreneurs need to grab the opportunity to serve their communities through a business that provides what is necessary.