Fstoppers Writer's Home Destroyed in Hurricane Harvey

Fstoppers Writer's Home Destroyed in Hurricane Harvey

Andrew Richardson has been an Fstoppers writer for over two years now, and he needs our help. Like thousands of other Texans, Andrew's house currently has several feet of water in it, but Andrew's story in particular is incredibly heartbreaking. 

Less than a month ago, on August 3rd, Andrew Richardson and his wife, Desiree, purchased their first home in Houston, TX. For the last three weeks, they have been painting and fixing up the house while they moved in new furniture and appliances. 
Right before they moved in, Hurricane Harvey hit and the home was filled with several feet of water. The neighborhood is 40 years old and has never had any flooding, and therefore, nobody in the neighborhood even considered buying flood insurance. In fact 80 percent of all homes affected by flooding during this storm are not covered by flood insurance. 


Andrew and a contractor friend visited the home today (while it's still underwater) and estimated that the damage to the house alone will be at least $50,000. Some people are predicting that the water could remain in his home for another four weeks. Not only will all of the flooring and sheetrock need to be replaced, but mold will be a serious problem throughout the house. 

I know I've been watching the horrific videos of the flooding in Texas and wondering how I might be able to help. I've worked with Andrew now for over two years and I'm so happy that I might be able to help repair their home. I know that most of you don't know Andrew personally, but if you're also looking for a way to help, even a few dollars can go a long way. Our hope is that with our donations we can get them back into their first home as soon as possible.

Andrew certainly isn't the only person who could use your help. More than 100,000 homes have been flooded. If there is anything you can do to help, you just might save or change a life. 

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19 Comments

David Strauss's picture

Love this opportunity to help, thanks for heading this up. What better way to appreciate the community here than to offer a hand in the biggest times of need.

Andrew Richardson's picture

I'm going to be real with you guys; every time I click on this I start crying. This is such an amazing community and I can't believe the outpouring of love and support that is coming our way. Thank you so much.

Emma Grigoryan's picture

be strong, I believe you will get all the support needed!

Hi Andrew ... a few quick tips regarding all the appliances you have bought and other things. If you bought any of those with a credit card, most of credit cards have a 60-90 day purchase warranty. No matter what happens they refund you the money. I am not sure if acts of God are included but it might be worth a try and recover a few thousand. (I once bought a camera and it was broken the first week and I used the warranty and everything was covered).

I hope all turns out well and be strong in this time of need! Will there be any Federal $ for houses rehabilitation? I assum there will be since 80% of houses didn't have insurance for flooding since they are not in a flood plane ... it might be worth it to pursue that route as well.

That would be amazing if you could get Visa to pay for some of this.

Andrew Richardson's picture

Thanks man, that was one of the first things I thought of. Visa's language specifically excludes floods and natural disasters, but I'm trying anyway. There will be federal assistance, it just remains to be seen what all there will be for everyone after it's all said and done.

oh and btw if youd like I can volunteer and help you with labour on rebuilding the house. I am no contractor but know my way around building and have 2 hands and feet!

I have been thinking on listing myself for some of the organizations down there for volunteers...

oh bummer! Yes it is worth a shot ... I sure as hell always take advantage of these credit card benefits. Be it price protection or the warranty. Price protection I use it before Black Friday and then just use Black Fridays prices to bring the price down. Gives a whole different meaning to Black Friday shopping - I don't go shopping in the middle of chaos and still get the pricing :)

Even though Visa has the language for acts of good and/or flooding, it might be worth a shot. Every dime counts.

Also, let me know if I can be of assistance with any building materials... If you use Lowe's I can help you get 50-70% discounts even on their clearance stuff.

I just bought a few pendant lights that cost 99$ each at my Lowes, and got it for 6$ delivered home from Lowes ...

Andrew Richardson's picture

Thanks man, trying all the price protection stuff and hoping for the best.

Lowes would be a huge help I'm sure. Want to email me and we can chat details? admin@andrewrichardson.net

Learn to do the repair work on your home and it will be a fraction of the cost estimate you were given. It really isn't so hard to do, especially replacing all the drywall. Mold on studs, for example, is easily taken care of with bleach. Exterior damage can be handled much easier by purposely using different materials and finishes rather than trying to match. Done correctly it can appear to be a contrasting element of your home's original design. Repair first the things needed for you to be able to move back into the home asap and then the rest can be done at a much more leisurely and relaxed pace. Finally, get flood insurance.

Andrew Richardson's picture

Absolutely. Drywall will be all done by me. We’re going to need more for the mold than bleach though. We’re looking at a minimum of three weeks before we can even get inside and all the professionals I’ve talked have said that a full mold treatment after that amount of time is a necessity, and I’m not going to mess around the health of my wife and (soon to be) kid. I will also be getting flood insurance on everything for all eternity, regardless of the property’s history or lack of being in a flood zone.

NOT bleach. Bleach can get mold from a hard impermeable surfaces, but it will not adequately penetrate something like a stud. In addition the admixture of water iun bleach will actually feed the mold when the chlorine has evaporated. What you will do is make the stud look nice at first but feed the underlying problem creating a later toxic mold situation.That situation in addition to health issues will be a mold remediation project worth tens of thousands of dollars. Research mold solutions for permeable/porous material.

Bleach will penetrate wood no less efficiently than just plain water. Household bleach is mostly water.

The proper use of bleach is to allow the complete saturation of the wood and then to dry it properly. Remember, fresh wood is already very wet.

Formal mold remediation, like many other services, are hyped up to generate sales.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Sending good thoughts your way, let the tragedy bring you a fresh start and new perspectives. Stay strong! <3

Andrew Richardson's picture

Everyone, thank you so much for wanting to help my wife and I as we go through this, we're just one of thousands of families that had our homes taken away from us in the past week, and the fact that complete strangers would have our backs like this is overwhelming.

I do want to say that I've reached out to Target and Amazon and they're both replacing the items I purchased from them at no additional cost because they're awesome companies. Really blessed by all the love and support that's gathering around my family right now, especially from this amazing community.

Emanuel Nater's picture

I feel so sorry for you guys, but since I am not from the US it is difficult to help even I am a plasterer. I hope you find some good helpers for your nice home. Best wishes Emanuel

Andrew Richardson's picture

Thanks Emanuel. Just the outpouring of love and support from complete strangers has been a huge comfort.

Vladimir Ambia's picture

Gosh, sorry to hear that brotha. Our city is not, nor will be the same for a long while. I am sorry for your loss. I hope and I know you will recover from this.

-V

Mike Schrengohst's picture

FAQs -- After Gutting a Flooded Home

http://www.lsuagcenter.com/profiles/sfiser/articles/page1474660090140

Having wood framing and subflooring exposed does offer a valuable opportunity to treat structural woods with a borate solution that penetrates the wood to provide long-term, effective and safe protection from termites and decay fungi. Boron based products tend to also help deter new mold growth, although they may not be formulated or labeled for that.