Do you need to know how to clean up after a storm? Hurricane season is here, and with any major storm comes the possibility of flooding and physical damage. If you’re reading this, then there is a chance you’ve experienced some damage or loss due to a flood already. Cleaning up after a major storm, especially one that brings flood waters, is crucial. It often requires a professional approach to do it right.
With that being said, here is what you can expect to do to clean up after a major storm rolls through.
- Protect Yourself First
Before you attempt to clean anything up in a home after a flood, make sure you are protected. First, check the electricity. Turn it off if it isn’t off already. Walking around a flooded area can be a hazard and an electrical current could be deadly. No matter what the weather is like, make sure you wear long pants, a long shirt, googles, gloves, boots, and if possible, a respirator to protect yourself from mold and airborne toxins. For more information on what the EPA recommends go here.
- Remove Water
Flood water extraction needs a professional approach. Before you call a pro to your location, assess the water damage. Determine how much water is in your home or business and take note of damaged rooms and areas. Most importantly, have the water removed quickly. Water damage happens very quickly, especially given the structural makeup of most homes. Drywall, carpets, wood floors, etc. can be destroyed fast. In fact, if the water sits for 48 hours or more, it will cause the most damage. Call a professional as soon as possible. If the removal is done fast enough, you may be able to salvage quite a bit. However, often with the nature of flood waters, especially with hurricanes, bacteria in the water leaves areas in need of professional disinfecting.
- Prevent or Eliminate Mold
Mold can become a serious issue if flood water is left standing. Even if flood waters dissipate quickly, you should still consider professional mold cleanup. The faster you can remove the water and clean the affected area, the less likely you are to experience mold. Not all mold is hazardous for your health. In fact, penicillin is actually made form mold. However, major storms present a problem as the mold they can leave behind is often much more harmful. Black mold, for example, is often seen after hurricanes. This type of mold requires a professional. Don’t take any chances when it comes to mold. Clean up quickly and hire a pro to take care of the rest.
- Dispose of Damaged Items
While you may think you’ll be able to save a lot of items damaged during a flood, you should think twice about it. With flood waters, especially after hurricanes, there are high amounts of bacteria in the water. Those waters are not your typical rain waters for your region. They start in the ocean and pick up everything on land. You need to consider the possibility of disposing of anything that is porous. This is including drywall, insulation, carpet, flooring, mattresses, and furniture. Clothing falls into this category, too. If it has been sitting for too long, it may not be worth trying to save. Have a professional check out other areas as well, like electrical lines, as they can get damaged in a flood as well.
- Clean Everything Properly
Whatever you do decide to keep, you need to clean it properly. Use bleach on items that won’t be negatively affected by it. Certain furniture can be saved and cleaned if you get to it quick enough. Use a wood alcohol or turpentine. As for your home, hire a professional to come in and clean the walls, floors, and other damaged areas of your home. You do not want to take a chance by cleaning it yourself and risking leaving bacteria or possible mold behind when repairs begin. Many of your clothes can be saved, but they should be professional cleaned as well. Take your clothes to a dry cleaner or wash service and explain to them the situation so they take the proper steps to clean them thoroughly.
If you need a professional approach to help you clean up and remove water, then get in touch with us today. At RMI, we specialize in water extraction and cleanup. We’ll remove the water and haul away the debris fast, so you can start repairing things right away.