Neighbors in the northwest Harris County subdivision of Norchester are continuing to gut their homes after they were finally able gain access to the residences late last week.

“So when you’re first walking in you see things in disarray, furniture knocked over,” said Norchester resident Anthony Carrington.

Carrington’s home flooded with 14 to 16 inches of water. Nearly all of his furniture on the first floor was destroyed.

The homeowner is taking matters into his own hands and is performing the first-floor demolition process on his own. Carrington has previous experience in home construction, but says that anyone can do their own demo after a flood.

“The first thing you have to do is pull out all of the wet material — the rugs the furniture, the sheetrock, the insulation, all the things of that nature,” Carrington said. “The sooner the better. When black mold sets in, it doesn’t stop.”

Carrington then cut into his drywall two-feet above the waterline, then removed all of the exposed insulation.

Carrington sanitized the wood beams and his floors using Odor Control and bleach. His home held the flood water for days and was potentially home to bacteria.

“Start airing out the house,” Carrington said. “Get the windows open, get the blowers going, get dehumidifiers in the house, if you’ve got ceiling fans, you want to run them.”

Once the home is dried, Carrington advises spraying termite spray on the wood beams. He says the hardest part of the process for some people is taking the first step.

“There’s no going back to life the way it was after this happened” Carrington said. "You’ve got to start the process of cleaning up and ripping out. Hey, you've just got to accept it.”