Flooding is the most common type of natural disaster all around the planet.
It’s resulted in weather-related health issues, as well as property damage. But, is there anything you can do to preserve your home after the flooding? What can you do to help your home recover after the damages caused by it?
If your neighborhood experienced a massive storm and the local authorities have concluded that you can return home, your home may be flooded. Because of this, you may be battling mold growth and clearing up waste from your property. While you may be tempted to head back to your house as quickly as possible to begin pressure washing and drying up the affected areas, there are still a few things to keep in mind because the flood may have brought with it unknown dangers.
To assist you during your cleaning operation, here’s a step-by-step guide on what to preserve, what to discard, and how to prevent mold growth:
Examine The House Inside And Out For Structural Damages
Strong winds and flooding can bring down electrical lines, erode the ground surrounding buried infrastructure, and cause gas breaches. Hence, check to see whether there’s any gas odor outside your property, as well as any dangling electrical cable.
If you discover either, contact a gas or electric company, or the fire department for assistance. In addition, if there are cracks in your home’s foundation or if there’s a tree on your property, consult a building inspector or structural engineer.
After you’ve checked the outside of your house, go inside. Is there a gas odor within your home? If this is the case, immediately shut off the main gas valve, open all windows, exit the house immediately, and notify a gas company. If you’re unable to reach one, you may contact your local emergency hotline or fire department.
Once you’re confident that your home is structurally solid and safe to enter, you can then begin cleaning it out.
Put On Protective Clothing
If your home has been flooded, the water isn’t your only problem. There could be a lot of filth at the bottom of storm drains, sewage pipes, and canals. They may leave muck and, perhaps, harmful compounds behind when they recede.
Wear clothes that protect your arms and legs as you clean your house. For your hands and face, it’s recommended to wear an N95 respirator, tight-fitting eyewear that keeps dirt and microscopic particles off your eyes, and long rubberized or neoprene gloves.
In cleaning your home after a flood, safety is your priority. If you’re expecting to waddle in floodwater, wear rubber boots that reduce your feet’s exposure to water and minimize the risks of debris hitting your toes. Similarly, protect your hands with well-fitting nitrile gloves. These gloves are perfect for handling potentially hazardous and corrosive materials and are ideal for people allergic to latex.
Dry Your House Out As Soon As Possible
Mold can begin to grow in wet environments within 24 hours. And, if the weather is warm, you might notice colonies within a couple of days. That being stated, dry out your home as soon as possible!
The first step toward mold removal is to air out your home thoroughly. To remove excess moisture, you may use an air conditioning unit, a dehumidifier, or a fan. If you don’t have power but have a portable generator, you can use that instead. But, if you can’t do either of those suggested methods, you can stick to opening your windows and doors to circulate fresh air throughout your house, if the weather permits.
Monitor The Moisture
While you’re doing the previous step, keep a close watch on the moisture level of your house. While certain areas of your walls, floors, and furniture may appear to be dry to the touch, they might, nevertheless, hold mold and bacteria. To assist you in this step, you may utilize a humidity or a moisture meter.
Get Rid Of Debris
Following a flood, some of your household items, such as carpets and furniture, may have been damaged to the point where they can’t be cleaned and dried within one to two days. If this is the case, it may be wise to throw them away. These things are almost certainly contaminated with mold and can no longer be preserved.
To begin clearing debris from your home, put on a mask and other protective gear for your own safety. When removing damp silt and debris, it’s a good idea to use shovels or rakes. After clearing the debris out, store them safely away from your home. When you’re finished cleaning up the debris, make sure to properly clean and sanitize your shoes and clothes, as well as disinfect the equipment you used with bleach.
Conduct A Thorough Inspection Of Your Appliances And Countertops
Never plug in or even turn on your appliances after a flood without first checking them. The floodwater may have corroded or ruined their components. If your washer or stove were submerged in floodwater, you should discard them for your own safety. But, if you think an item can still be spared, hire a professional repair specialist to evaluate and restore it.
Flooding can harm your home’s foundation and cause mold to grow on the walls and frames. Not only that, but electrical components and some pieces of furniture in your home may be irreparably destroyed. This is why it’s important to be knowledgeable on how to manage and clean up your home after a flash flood. It may seem like a daunting process, but it’ll aid in the removal of bacteria-related risks, as well as mold-related issues.
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