The Top Tips for Cleaning Up After a Flood
Severe flooding after a heavy downpour or a storm can cause immense damage to your residential or commercial property. If left unattended, the excess water can stain your walls, crack or warp the floors, corrode piping systems, and destroy electrical wires.
The stagnant water can also cause health concerns by spreading infectious diseases and contaminating our water sources.
Cleaning up after a flood can make the difference in restoring your home or business from water damage and curbing the spread of diseases. However, cleaning up after a disaster can be daunting, and it comes with various safety risks.
Here’s what you need to do to clean up your property safely after a flood:
1. Protect Yourself
Your safety comes first when dealing with disaster aftermaths. Before cleaning your flooded property, ensure you disconnect the electricity and gas supplies to avoid potential dangers.
Always wear protective gear such as rubber gloves, eye goggles, boots, and a face mask to protect yourself. Consider long-sleeved clothing and pants to not expose your body to hazardous materials.
Keep your kids and pets out of the disaster area until the situation is under control and there’s no cause for alarm.
2. Extract Water and Dry Flooded Areas
Your primary objective should be to extract water from the flooded areas as soon as possible to avoid water damage.
You can start with a container or bucket to remove the water from the property and switch to a vacuum cleaner or mopper to thoroughly dry wet areas.
You can also use a pump to extract water from hard-to-reach areas such as the basement. Ensure you direct the water to storm drains rather than the sewer system to avoid complicating issues.
Dig out any mud while it’s still wet, or else it will crust on your floors and escalate the damage caused by the flooding.
3. Use Fans to Dispel Fumes
Standing water not drained within 48 hours can produce mold and contaminate the air with hazardous gases. Exposure to these fumes can lead to severe respiratory illnesses and allergic reactions.
Always keep the windows open and use fans to allow fresh air into your premises. Ensure that you dry out stagnant water from flooded areas before switching on ventilators and fans to avoid electric shock.
Also, avoid dry sweeping to control dust and pollen from filling up your work area.
4. Sanitize Recoverable Items
Even though some items are resistant to water damage, they might require sanitization to kill germs and disease-causing organisms.
Clean and sanitize all your rugs, carpets, curtains, clothes, linen, furniture, and other recoverable items that did not succumb to water damage.
Avoid touching these items with your bare hands, and ensure you wear rubber gloves to prevent exposure to harmful germs.
5. Repair or Discard Damaged Items
Consider taking damaged items for repair and discard those that are unrepairable. If you have any insured household items, take clear photos of them before throwing them away. The photographs will act as evidence to make it easier to file for compensation.
6. Enlist Professional Junk Removal Services
A clean-up process after a flood will likely leave behind plenty of junk and debris on your property. Hauling this garbage might be a daunting task, and that’s why it is a good idea to enlist professional junk removal services in your area.
Hiring an expert to handle your trash removal needs comes with many benefits. They have the experience and the proper tools to dispose of unwanted items from your property.
Dealing with flooding and other natural disasters can be overwhelming. For this reason, it is logical to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get the help you need to deal with the catastrophe.
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