Have you recently had a flood in your area because of a huge storm or other disaster? Or perhaps a water pipe burst or some other issue caused a part of your home to be flooded? Regardless of the cause, if you’re in the frustrating situation where your property is deluged with unwanted water, it’s hard not to get stressed and upset. To help you get through this time, read on for some top tips you can follow to clean up safely and get your home back together as soon as you can.
Disconnect the Power ASAP
The first thing you need to do to keep everyone, including pets, safe from electrocution is disconnect the power in your home — or at least the power going to the flooded areas. It’s particularly vital to make sure no power is on in areas where the water has risen above electrical outlets or is about to.
In addition, quickly unplug any electronic devices, such as appliances, lights and the like, that are in the vicinity of the water. However, only do this if you can reach them safely and won’t risk electrocution.
Remove Your Things From the Flooded Area
After that, remove all your things from the flooded areas as soon as possible. Get your family all together, or call in friends and/or neighbors to help you evacuate your possessions quickly, both small and large ones, as the longer they’re exposed to water, the more damaged they’ll get.
Also try to pull up wall-to-wall carpet and remove large area rugs. You’ll have a much better chance of saving them if you can get them out of water sooner rather than later and have them professionally cleaned. Unfortunately, though, sometimes because of the water these things can end up shrinking and be unusable in the end, no matter how speedily you work.
Get Pools of Water Out
The next step is to do what you can to get the pools of water out of your spaces. There are a number of ways to go about this, and the ones you use will depend on how much water is in your home and the resources you have access to.
If, for example, the water level is quite high, yet you can use electricity in some non-affected areas of your property, consider using a sump pump. This will help to suck up the water more quickly, and can be hired from hardware stores and related suppliers. Just make sure, though, that you plug these appliances in well away from pooled water and keep cords free of moisture. If the level of water in your house is low, try using a wet/dry vacuum for your clean-up job. Again, this tool must be kept away from water when plugged in so no electric shocks occur.
If you’re in the position where it’s impossible to safely use any electrical items to get rid of the water, manually remove it by bailing water out using buckets, mops, towels and the like. Note, though, that you and your helpers must wear protective gear, as flooded waters can contain bacteria and other health hazards.
Clean, Dry, Sort, Repair and Dispose
It’s time to do what you can to salvage and sort your possessions and get your home’s areas back to a useable state. With the excess water out of the way, use fans and a dehumidifier to dry spaces. Open doors and windows to increase air flow, too. Keep in mind that it’s not just floors that must dry but also drywall, insulation, wooden beams and the like.
Get your wet items out into the sun if possible to enable them to dry sooner. Then, go through everything and sort goods into piles. You’ll have items that need to be thrown out or put in the recycling bin, unfortunately, but you’ll also have things you can save. Contact a provider such as Service Master Restore, and get them to repair water-damaged items like books, furniture, kitchenware, décor items and the like.
Disinfect and Work to Prevent Mold From Growing
It’s vital, too, to disinfect your items and home and take steps to inhibit mold growth. Mold can quickly grow in water-affected spaces within only a day or two, so use a good disinfectant spray to help remove bacteria that could have come into your property via flood waters, broken pipes, overflowing sewers or other avenues. Also, clean anything the water touched, including walls and even the ceiling if it got that high.