Oh man, a flood. That’s never fun for anybody. Floods are messy business that can put a real damper on anyone’s mood (pun intended). Initially, a flood can cause all sorts of damage to your home, your possessions, and personal belongings. And even weeks later you can continue to find issues caused by the water damage and mold.
Therefore, if you are dealing with a flood you want to act quickly. Otherwise the possibility for future issues like mold, rot, and wiring damage get worse every day. This can all be very overwhelming. You’ll want to follow a plan to quickly address the issue of water and flood damage and that’s what we are going to help you with today.
Cleaning up after a flood – clearing and drying
First and foremost, if there is still standing water and in any area where there may be water damage, make certain that your electricity has been turned off. This is for your own protection as well as the protection of your wiring and home.
Next, you’ll want to use a water pump to pump out any standing water, which can be a tough problem specifically in basements. Make sure you are following the instructions and warnings set by your machine. With your home’s power turned off, you’ll need a generator. Make sure that your generator is somewhere well ventilated so you aren’t inhaling a ton of carbon monoxide.
Use a shovel to scoop up loose dirt, mud, and other debris into a container. This could be a wheelbarrow, bucket, whatever container works best for your space.
Also make sure to clean any furniture, clothes, or bedding affected in the flood area. Wash them as soon as you can in the highest temperature that the fabric can take. Consult labels before washing.
If your carpets or wallpaper are ruined, just dispose of them as soon as possible. You don’t want them to facilitate worse damage or mold growth that could impact the rest of the house.
With most of your space cleared of loose debris and standing water, the next part is a bit of waiting game. You need the area to dry out. Unfortunately this can take some time. You can speed it up by allowing plenty of ventilation and utilizing heavy duty fans.
Still, even with the utmost diligence, depending on the materials of the building it could be weeks or even months for the area to completely dry up.
After drying – the actual cleaning
Now it’s time to try and reverse or undo as much of the damage as possible. You’ll want some sort of heavy duty disinfectant, a bleach spray would work well, and a sturdy brush.
Scrub everything with water stains. You want to completely disinfect the area. Watch for water lines on the walls. Also, remember to check in not-so-obvious spaces. Behind furniture. In the corners.
Once everything is scrubbed down, apply bleach or disinfectant to stop mold and mildew from growing.
When it comes to flood damage, there are no guarantees. You can clean everything as best as humanly possible only to discover further damage develop a couple weeks down the road.
Do your very best to make sure you completely remove any materials that may mold and dry any area with moisture. Once it’s dry, scrub scrub scrub and use disinfectant and bleach liberally (while still abiding proper and safe use as instructed on the cleaning product labels).