When a flood occurs it is never a minor issue. Water creates a path of destruction and disaster throughout the affected area. In your home it can create issues with the structure of the home, family’s personal artifacts and the health of those inside the home. Water from floods is often full of contaminants and sludge. Items throughout the home, no matter their value, are susceptible to the flood water whether it is one inch or ten. Carpets, walls, electric appliances and expensive furnishings can be destroyed with just an inch of water. Whereas deeper flooding will wreak havoc on the systems contained within the home. The more substantial the flooding the more likely the ducts, heating & cooling systems, homes structure and well could be affected.
Cleaning up after a flood occurs takes time, patience and proper technique. It will not be a process that happens overnight. Sanitation and cleansing processes should be attempted in more serious flooding by restoration professionals.
When you contact your insurance agent, which should happen immediately after you notice a flood has occurred in your home, they will put your in contact with restoration professionals. The damage will be assessed and pictures taken to help value the damage in financial terms. Complete records are a must. Photo or video documentation is necessary in order to apply for assistance, claims in insurance and tax deductions.
When the home floods it will not be chlorinated pool water. The water will be sludgy and a mix of mud and water will be throughout your home. The first thing that will occur is the removal of this substance. It can be shoveled out and then sprayed down to release dried mud for removal. This will be a long exhausting process.
Every surface will need to be sanitized and disinfected. This can be done using several different solutions. The one recommended is to begin with a hot water and bleach solution. A quarter cup of bleach should be diluted with each gallon of water. This combination of chemicals is sure to rid breading bacteria from surfaces. It is important after an initial clean to go room by room and do a thorough cleaning. Below is an example of what should be done for an individual room.
- Wash all cupboard contents, even if not directly affected by flood waters. This is important because the bacteria are breeding in the standing water and then floating through the air. It will land amongst plates, dishes and cupboard contents. Wash with a solution of 2 tablespoons of bleach to a gallon of water, rinse and air dry.
- Metal pots, silverware and metal utensils should be boiled for ten minutes. Using bleach on metal is not advised as it will turn the metal dark and tarnish it forever.
- All cupboards and counters should be disinfected and then rinsed before dishes are allowed to be put back in them. These steps will ensure that bacteria from the flood waters is not sitting in the kitchen, baking into food and living on plates that will be used at meal time.
It is advisable to hire a restoration firm that deals in water restoration. Flooding can cause major damage to the home. Professionals know exactly what to look for in cleaning up to prevent issues from occurring later on such as mold. Floods can occur from storm damage, faulty plumbing, broken pipes and events Mother Nature herself brings us such as snow and heavy rains. No matter the size of the flood damage a professional restoration company can come in and restore your home and lives within a few weeks where as doing the cleanup on your own won’t be nearly as thorough or fast. Time is not on your side when dealing with water extraction. Mold and mildew start within twenty-four hours and spread through the air causing more headaches later on down the road.