When the rain stops and water subsides, flood victims can follow a few easy steps to reduce property damage and restrict health risks.
Flooding happens when rising water overflows the normal bounds of bodies of water, such as rivers and streams, and flows across the ground picking up all kinds of contamination. These tips also apply to other flooding issues like broken water heaters, major bathroom overflows, dishwasher issues, washer overflows and the like.
Follow these tips to clean up after floodings or major water spills:
Use caution when entering buildings. Make certain electrical power is off and the construction is sound before entering and inspecting a flooded building. Small creatures or reptiles may also seek shelter in the structure, so be cautious when re-positioning contents or removing substances.
Shield yourself – don’t make yourself sick trying to heal your house. Wear an organic vapor respirator, available from paint or building supply stores, along with rubber gloves, eye protection and protective garments.
Know what items to throw away. Porous things that absorb contaminated flood water shouldn’t be restored. Drywall, rug and pad, mattresses, pillows, bed bases and particle board usually should be tossed to the trash heap if wet.
Wet clothing and numerous household cloths could be salvageable. A good serious machine washing, including at least a 10-minute soak in detergent and warm water, should remove most contaminants and blots.
Open pockets of saturation. Just because you can’t see it does NOT mean that it’s not there. A lot of water will get into the walls in a flooding episode. Remove foundation molding and pieces of broken walls and damp insulating material. Everything below that will be removed and lost.
Clean vigorously. Wall pits and exposed long-lasting stuffs (studs, joists) should be cleaned by pressure washing with detergent solutions. After thoroughly cleaning and flushing salvageable stuffs, apply a disinfectant solution liberally. A water restoration expert may be required to perform this service safely and effectively. Keep in mind, that this IS what the house actually sits on. The last thing you need is the floor dropping out from below you.
Prevent mold growing. Keep air going and preserve average temperatures as possible.
Dry out thoroughly and COMPLETELY before you rebuild. To avoid dry rot, cover wood substances until its water content drops. This will, as well, as well prevent any on-going structural damage.
Consider engaging a professional. An expert water damage restoration business has trained technicians, specialized cleansers and anti-microbial agents, and drying, extraction, dehumidifying and moisture measuring equipment.