How to Clean Up After a Flood
You've gone through the unfortunate experience of a flood in the home, which is already a confusing and stressful time. But now, you have to figure out what your best course of action is to help restore your home after the flood.
Diligence and speed is necessary immediately following the accumulation of water in a home. Acting quickly could be the difference between an easy fix and a mildew infested home with potential for further water damage. Remember, hiring a trained profession is always ideal in situations such as these, but there are some measures you can take right after a flood that will help the severity of the situation before a professional arrives. Those with any breathing problems such as asthma are particularly vulnerable to flood-related complications, such as mold, so speed is vital to not only the home, but also to ones’ own safety.
- Before restoration, the most important thing to make sure of is that you and everyone in your home is safe from dangers triggered by the flood. If possible, disconnecting the main electricity to the flooded area will ensure safety against electrical issues. Water conducts electricity, and even a small amount could be dangerous to whom ever is cleaning up after the flood. Be speedy and turn off any possible electrical hazards.
- Next, see if you can find out what caused the flood. Finding a shut off valve will prevent the cause of the flood (if applicable) from happening again right after you’ve finished cleaning the flooded area! If the flood is worsening, turning off the right shut-off valve could stop the situation from escalating. There is no downside in temporarily turning off the valve, so it is a good idea to preemptively learn this information before a flood happens, in case of future emergencies.
- How can you quickly remove some of the moisture in the flooded area to prevent further damage and mold? While it will be difficult to fully dry and remove moisture from damaged areas without a professional, it is still helpful to partially dry the area. If you have a dehumidifier on hand, this is the perfect time to use it. You can also use an air condition for this. They will help remove moisture from the walls and house. Vacuuming the floors is also a good option for removing moisture.
- Using a chlorine bleach solution of 3/4 cup bleach for every 1 gallon of water to wash floors and other surfaces is beneficial. Make sure to wear protective equipment when handing bleach products, such as gloves. Make sure to clean all dirt and debris where mildew and mold could harvest. You can also sue chlorine bleach to ensure that clothes are mold-free (of course, you should always check the clothing label to make sure the bleach solution will not damage it in other ways). In a standard sized washing machine, throw in one cup of bleach for ever load. This will also get rid of any odours caused by the access moisture. Disinfecting might not seem like a priority, but is necessary to get rid of accrued germs and bacteria.