A flood of your house can cause major damages. These include not only your personal items but also the structure of the house and its inside environment. A few inches of water can wreck havoc on a home’s furniture, carpeting, appliances, and wallboards. A few feet can be devasting to ducts, roofing, utilities, as well as the foundation, causing a complete loss of the home.
It’s important to realize that what is in the flood waters can be extremely damaging. These contain contaminants and a ton of mud. If you think it’s hard to get the mud off of your jeans, just imagine how hard it is to get the mud off of all your furniture and other belongings.
As you have figured out by now, flood damage is a big problem. Cleaning up after a flood is a long and tedious process. Let’s take a look at all the steps that are involved in the cleanup process below.
Immediately After A Flood
Although the time immediately after a flood can be extremely stressful with mixed emotions, it’s a crucial time to get started on restoring. There are some key things you need to do right away to ensure the successful restoration of your home.
After a flood occurs the first thing you should do is to contact your insurance agent. It’s best to get the ball rolling on the insurance side of things as quickly as possible so you can get on to cleaning up and restoring your home. Your insurance adjuster can advise you on any questions regarding coverage and will schedule a time for an adjuster to come out to your home.
Take Pictures / Videos
It’s essential to document all the cleanup process and damaged items for your insurance claims. You don’t want to be in a position later where something on your claim is denied and you don’t have the evidence to back up your loss.
Walk through your home and document all of the damages. You should use photographs or video to record damages to the house itself as well as all your possessions. These also help to ensure that you receive income tax deductions and disaster assistance in the future.
In general, there are a couple steps to cleaning your home and making it habitable again. Shoveling out any contaminated mud is the first step in the process. This can be done with shovels, a hose, or a garden sprayer. You want to wash away as much mud as you possibly can from all the hard surfaces in your home.
Next up, you want to disinfect all surfaces. Use hot water and a very heavy-duty cleaner to get the job done right. One helpful tip is to use chlorine bleach with water as a disinfectant to ensure you get rid of all those contaminants from the flood water.
How To Handle Cleanup Of Each Component Of Your Home
While the two general cleaning steps above apply to all areas in your home, there are some added steps to each area that you should be aware of. We’ve broken down all these extra steps below so that you can follow along on your cleanup journey.
Furniture And Other Possessions
This can be one of the most devastating to deal with from a flood as many of your personal items may be damaged beyond repair. It’s best to try and dry out all your furniture, bedding, rugs, clothing, and other loose items.
Inside of the home, you should install temporary dehumidifiers and air conditioners. This will help to remove moisture from the air. Opening as many windows as possible will also help to ventilate the room. We suggest using fans to circulate the fresh air throughout the home.
Mattresses, wood veneered furniture, stuffed animals, and other alike items are typically going to be damaged too much and just need to be thrown out. Items like papers, photographs, and books can be put in a freezer to preserve them from mold until you are able to slowly dry them back out to avoid damage.
Most of the items in your kitchen are solid and can be easily washed with a disinfectant. Glass, china, dinnerware, enamelware, and porcelain can all be soaked in chlorine bleach or another disinfectant for a few minutes to decontaminate.
Metal items, such as utensils, silverware, pans, and pots, should not be soaked in any sort of chlorine bleach disinfectant as it can alter the color of the metal. These should be boiled in water or you should seek out a specialized disinfectant that doesn’t have any adverse reactions to metals.
Most wall materials are very porous and soak up water. These can be extremely difficult to dry out. In most cases, wallboards will start to grow mold and mildew which can be extremely hazardous to your health. Mold can create respiratory and other problems in even the healthiest individuals.
You should plan to get rid of the damaged wallboards. If you only had a couple inches of water, then cutting off a 6 or 12-inch section on the bottom can work. This will allow the rest of the wallboard to dry out as well.
Your electrical system is composed of many switches, light outlets, junction boxes, and entrance panels. When you have a flood, the electrical system should be shut off immediately. An electrician will need to inspect the home and ensure that all the wires and other components of the system are dried out before the electric is turned back on.
As you can see, there is a lot of work that goes into restoring every room of your home. It’s best to talk to your insurance agent and professional flood cleaning companies to ensure your home is properly taken care of.