The floodwaters begin to recede. Understandably, you want to get back into your home or business to clean up and rebuild. However, rebuilding too quickly can mean you skip over significant damage and endanger those in the building.
Otherwise, persistent and hazardous issues such as infestations, mold growth and structural deterioration will present safety and health problems that can cost you more money in the long run. Don’t trust that flood water or materials damaged by flooding are safe. Here are the five steps you need to take after flooding to clean up.
1.Contact Professionals to Report and Assess
After flood water recedes, contact the professionals to report and assess the conditions following the flood. Do contact your insurance company as soon as possible, but also don’t neglect to contact disaster restoration professionals to assist with the documentation and restoration process.
ECOS Environmental is experienced with working with insurance companies and their standards. We will stay with you from start to finish. We know how to safely and effectively clean up all kinds of disasters and will restore your home or business with care.
People say that fire is both destructive and creative, but water seeps. It seeps through everything, including your ceiling, drywall, floors and walls.
2. Protect Yourself When Entering
There are some aspects of cleanup that you can safely DIY but never charge into a structure without it being cleared as safe by the experts and authorities.
Cracked foundations and broken floors obviously present hazards. Always turn the electricity off before going into a room with standing water. Also, don’t turn on electrical appliances while standing on wet flooring or carpeting. Never disturb mold, which can form within 48 hours of flooding.
Wear protective gear when you enter the building. Wear masks, waterproof boots and long sleeve clothing.
3. Start Cleaning ASAP
Begin the cleanup process once the building is cleared for you to enter safely. The degree to which you can contribute personally to the cleanup process depends on the degree of damage and concerns for potential health hazards. You don’t and shouldn’t do all the cleanup on your own.
Contact with floodwater and damaged materials endangers your life. It takes a long time, and you can’t work to support yourself and loved ones while cleaning up. If you DIY the cleanup, always wear protective gear. Only what is reasonable and safe for you and your health, such as wiping down surfaces and opening windows.
One of the first and easiest steps that you can DIY is to dry out the contents of the property completely. Focus on items that won’t retain harmful bacteria and mold. You will throw those items away. Many non-porous materials can be salvaged, so take the items outside to dry in the sunlight. Dehumidifiers and fans will help air out the property to prepare for restoration efforts.
4. Exercise Caution with Mold Damage
Where there is moisture, you will most likely find mold. After flooding, mold can quickly develop as soon as 24 hours after water comes in contact with a surface. Please wear a mask when you re-enter a building.
Soap and bleach can help address some mold issues, on the surface, but the problem area can “grow” deeper. Experts can offer you a free estimate and plan for addressing the damage.
5. Address Necessary Repairs Before Restoration
Part of the cleanup process means addressing the necessary repairs before you leap into the restoration process. The early stages of your cleanup efforts must focus on getting everything clean and dry while working with your insurance company and flood cleanup and restoration experts.
Following that, you should address the necessary repairs before restoration. Seal up all leaks and prevent further issues with moisture, especially for future prevention. If you are in a high-risk flood zone, you can investigate the possibility of elevating your home or installing a flood barrier after you take care of those must-do repairs.
Contact ECOS Environmental to guide you through the flood cleanup and restoration process from start to finish.