Standing water can become stagnant, or harbor a variety of bacteria and chemicals. If your house has flooded, or sustained a leak, or water damage, consider your safety before diving into a DIY cleanup. Identify potential dangers and risks, take all precautions, and make sure you have the right safety equipment before you begin working. Look for the name of a professional clean-up company and have it on hand for backup.
POTENTIAL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH WATER DAMAGE
Flood Water can contain sewage or water laced with chemicals is a serious concern. You should never clean sewage yourself. This water carries bacteria that can cause serious illnesses. Water that may be contaminated with chemicals also poses a serious health risk. Stagnant water is another problem. It is a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Water that has been sitting for more than a few hours can grow mold and bacteria. Danger from electricity is another concern if the power has not been cut.
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS BEFORE CLEANUP BEGINS
The first step in water damage cleanup is evaluating whether or not you’re equipped to handle it. If the water is obviously contaminated, it’s best to call a water damage restoration company. Sewage, chemical contaminates, or stagnant water should all be handled by professionals. If you decide to proceed, gather everything you need like protective wear, disinfecting cleaners, mop, towels and a bucket, rolls of plastic, and trash bags.
Be sure you have protective clothing like gloves, a mask, eye goggles, and adequate covering on your arms, legs, and body. Simple masks and goggles provide protection during water damage cleanup, and can help protect your lungs and eyes from any dangerous traces present in the water. Make sure to wear boots with long trousers tucked into them. It’s possible to step on something unseen beneath the water.
SAFEGUARD YOUR HOME
If you decide to proceed on your own, make sure the power is shut off. Remove all standing water before using any electrical equipment such as fans or dehumidifiers. Remember do not plug in powered equipment in standing water and use extension cords run from a safe area. Cover and holes such as roof damage, exterior walls, or broken windows with plastic to prevent further damage.
Contaminated water doesn’t always look dangerous, so take precautions even if you think the water is safe. It is often wiser to contact a professional service to handle your water problem. They have the proper equipment and knowledge to handle the job the right way!