Flood Clean-Up and Damage Assessment

Flood Damage Assessment News and Updates

Update (Sept. 19, 2019)

The St. Charles County Division of Building and Code Enforcement (BCE) reminds flood property owners and potential buyers of the following as the flood recovery process continues:

  • Some properties that were flooded are not allowed to be repaired; they must be demolished or elevated. Anyone interested in purchasing a property should inquire with BCE regarding orders or violations on the property.
  • A building permit is required to demolish, elevate or repair, regardless of the scope of work.
  • Burning construction debris is prohibited.
  • It is unlawful to sell a property without completing the following steps; both are required regardless of an “as-is” transfer of property.
    • A signed and notarized acknowledgment must be submitted to BCE from the buyer noting all flood damage or other code-related violations on the property. The acknowledgment must accept liability for correcting all deficiencies in the property without condition.
    • The seller must obtain a third-party inspection of the septic system and/or private well on the property prior to sale.

Update (June 22, 2019)

Please note that St. Charles County ordinances require a building permit to repair flood-damaged structures regardless of the type of work. Examples that require a building permit include drywall replacement, electrical work, siding replacement, roofing, door replacement, flooring, etc.

Electrical, mechanical and plumbing work requires contractors licensed with St. Charles County Government. The Division of Building and Code Enforcement has the following recommendations when hiring a contractor to ensure safety and quality:

  • Ask family and friends for recommendations
  • Always get three bids before hiring
  • Obtain a contract and make clear expectations of work
  • Obtain the building permit (when required) yourself or require a copy of the building permit prior to construction
  • Do not pay upfront—instead, pay at certain milestones as work is completed
  • When complete, obtain a mechanic’s lien waiver.
  • Keep a copy of all receipts, invoices, and other documents.

For questions, please contact the Division of Building and Code Enforcement at 636-949-7345 or bce@sccmo.org.

The Division of Building and Code Enforcement advises residents affected by flooding to follow the pictured guide for replacing and reconditioning electrical equipment. Electrical work must be completed by a licensed contractor with an issued building permit.

ESFI Water Damaged Electrical Equipment Guidelines

Update (June 20, 2019)

St. Charles County’s Division of Building and Code Enforcement is conducting inspections in areas affected by flooding. If you live in one of these areas, be sure to ask for proper agency identification from anyone who comes by to inspect your property. 

An Initial Damage Assessment determines if unsafe conditions exist and allows the County to determine the amount of damage overall. Letters will be sent for every structure where damage is noted. The Detailed Damage Assessment occurs next and provides a comprehensive list of concerns on the property. These inspections are required by FEMA and determine eligibility for relief funding that may become available if a Federal Disaster Declaration is made by the President of the United States.

If your property needs inspection and the water is low enough that staff members can safely access all structures, please contact the Division of Building and Code Enforcement at 636-949-7345 or bce@sccmo.org.  An adult over the age of 18 needs to be present during the inspection.

Damage Assessment Process

St. Charles County uses a damage assessment process to assist property owners in recovering from the flood. If you've had any water in your property, including the basement, an inspection is required. Learn more about the process and frequently asked questions:

First Steps for Re-Entering Your Structure

When returning after a flood, be aware that your house or business likely will be contaminated with mold or sewage, which can cause health risks to your family or employees. Wear protective clothing (boots, gloves, eyewear, breathing masks, etc.) when entering the structure. Wash hands regularly after any contact with flood water, items that may have been in flood water, and after leaving the structure. Be cautious for wild animals (live or dead) that may have used the structure as a refuge.

  • Return only when the area has been declared safe by responding officials. Keep children and pets out of the area until clean-up is complete.
  • Photograph damage to your property before and after cleaning for insurance purposes.
  • If the structure has been closed for several days, open doors and windows to let the air circulate for at least 30 minutes before staying for any long period. Be alert for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: Headache, dizziness, nausea and confusion are a few indicators.
  • Remove pooled water slowly. Pump out no more than two feet of water each day to equalize pressure inside and outside the foundation. Otherwise, walls and floors may collapse.
  • Remove mud and debris from the home first. Then, scrub all areas with cleaning supplies and disinfect surfaces with a germ-killing product or chlorine bleach solution (recommended to use 1/8 teaspoon/0.75 milliliters of household bleach per gallon of water). Remove and discard any items that cannot be washed and disinfected.
  • Dry ceilings and walls. Remove any flood-soaked wallboards to minimize mold growth. Discard carpet padding damaged by floodwater.
  • Prevent mildew growth by air drying furniture, rugs, bedding, clothing and other wet materials as soon as possible. Use fans to circulate air inside the home. Wash and disinfect surfaces to kill spores that have already developed. Discard any material that was submerged for more than 24 hours or was contaminated with sewage or chemical waste.

Electrical Safety and Clean-Up

  • Never turn power sources on or off while standing in water. If power lines are down outside the home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • Hire a professional electrician to replace or recondition electrical wiring and equipment. All materials that were submerged by the flood must be replaced.
  • Use a cleaning product or bleach solution to clean outside and inside all appliances that may be repaired and reused.  When in doubt, throw it out.

Additional Information from Emergency Management