Flash flood situations are more common than you might think. Floods can happen anywhere at anytime, causing injury and destruction. Water can wreak havoc on your homes’ internal structures as well as leave behind mud, bacteria, and creating a place for mold to brew. If you have been the victim of flash flooding there are a few things you should keep in mind when attempting to clean up. After a flood, the clean up is a long, arduous process. Below is a list of things you can do to dry, sanitize, and clean flooded items:
· Mud- Be prepared for many hours of back breaking work as the only way to remove mud and other solid contaminants is by hand, or shovel. Remove as much mud as possible by shoveling and then wash down remaining structures with a garden hose.
· Clean and Sanitize-Any items that are merely dirty and are non-porous can be washed in a solution of warm water and a heavy duty cleaner then dipped into a solution of water and chlorine bleach in order to kill all bacteria and parasites that may be living on these surfaces. Examples of items that can be cleaned with this method are dishes, plastic storage containers, etc. Do not use this method with metals as the bleach may react with the metal and cause discoloration. Pots, pans and eating utensils should be boiled. Wipe down and hard surfaces with the bleach solution after washing with cleaner such as countertops, appliances, tubs, sinks, etc. You may want to check out cost effective ways to cleanup a home after a flood for more.
· Remove any upholstered items such as sofas and porous furniture like wooden tables, etc. and take outside to dry thoroughly. In many instances, these items may be restorable, but the level of restoration depends on the level of exposure to the water. It may be advisable to have your upholstered furniture replaced. Carpets, rugs and any other porous surface that has been in contact with flood waters should be replaced.
· Drywall, Electrical, Plumbing, etc.-Each of these items should be addressed by a professional with experience in flash flood restoration procedures. Any affected drywall should be removed and replaced with new. Electrical and plumbing systems should be evaluated by professionals and replaced if necessary.