After a flood, the task of dealing with the damage can seem overwhelming. Breaking it into smaller tasks, organized by priority and urgency, can make the process more manageable, and recruiting professional help when necessary ensures your safety. Emergency flood cleanup doesn’t have to be a nightmare, and you can return your life to a state of normalcy sooner than you might think. Read on to learn about dealing with the aftermath of a flood and some of the options that are available to you.
The first step when dealing with the aftermath of a flood is to take a deep breath and remind yourself that everything will be okay. The second step is to assess the situation. Determine what your priorities are—your health and safety should top the list—where the worst damage is, and how you should proceed. The experienced eye of a professional can be very beneficial in this situation, especially if you aren’t sure where to even begin. Flood damage varies greatly, and if you are ever unsure of how to deal with a particular item or situation, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Even small amounts of water, when flooding a home, can contain contaminants that pose health risks. Never drink flood water, use protective equipment when available, wash contaminated clothing and other items, and try to take general preventative measures against bacteria and diseases. Shovel out contaminated mud, disinfect all surfaces, disinfect all dishes and kitchen items, throw away contaminated mattresses and bedding, and have your floors cleaned and sanitized. The sooner you can contain and deal with potential contamination, the sooner you can make your home and belongings safe again.
Once the area has been deemed safe, it is time to deal with water damage. This can range greatly, depending on the situation, and can include dealing with downed trees, water removal, structural drying, reconstruction, and other damaged property. Flooring, furniture, walls, and appliances should all be checked and restored when necessary. Have your electrical system checked by a professional, inspect your roof for leaks or other problems, make sure your sewage system is still safe and functional, and inspect your heating and cooling systems and ducts. Involve your insurance company, documenting things as necessary.
Where moisture remains in abundance, mold will breed. Mold growth brings its own set of problems, since it threatens your health and can cause costly damage to your home and property. Different options of extraction, air movement and circulation, dehumidification, moisture detection, and other mold-removal techniques, can be employed after a flood. Be sure to have you home properly and professionally dried to prevent future mold outbreaks.
For your personal belongings that have been damaged, go through them and see what can be safely salvaged. Professional document restoration may be a viable option to consider for your important papers and documents, and professional cleaning and sanitizing is an option for valuable or sentimental items. Keep in mind that your health and safety should take precedent over keeping unsafe items, and never hesitate to get a professional opinion at any step throughout the process.