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5 Flood Cleanup Tips

Floods happen quickly and damage homes. After a flood, you need to clean up right away to prevent mold and mildew. If you just moved to an area that gets lots of flooding, here are five tips to help you out in the future.

1. Get rid of the water

Before starting cleanup, unplug all electronics in the flooded area. Use towels, a mop, and large bucket to soak up and dispose of the water. Dump the water onto the lawn to avoid flooding storm drains. If you can reach an outlet in an unflooded area, a wet/dry vac will suck up the water from crevices and holes that you can't reach. If the water is a foot or two deep, consider renting a pump or contacting a flood cleanup crew, like CDM Cesspool Service.

2. Remove damaged debris

Remove all water-logged items that will not dry out within a day or so. This includes blankets, rugs, and cushioned furniture. If you have carpet, remove it along with the padding underneath. If the flooding is extensive, the drywall and insulation will have to be removed and replaced. Carpet and insulation will not dry before mold begins to grow. Once you've removed or dried everything that is wet, use a dehumidifier in the flooded areas.

3. Decontaminate

Every surface should be scrubbed to prevent mold growth. Use a household cleaner containing bleach to spray water damaged surfaces including walls, floors, and nonporous surfaces. Allow the cleaner to sit for thirty minutes and respray when the cleaner dries. After thirty minutes, use a sponge to scrub the surface. You should also wear protective gloves and a mask to protect yourself from fumes.

4. Clean appliances and electronics

Use special care when cleaning appliances and electronics. Grime can build up on the exterior of your appliances if they're not cleaned right away. Use a soft, microfiber cloth to clean the exterior of electronics. Use a sponge on appliances like your stove and your fridge. Before using any electronics, be sure they are completely dry on the inside. Turning on electronic devices if there is any moisture will damage the device. If you are unsure, take your electronics to a special electronic repair store where they will properly dry and check your devices.

5. Use caution with sewage backups

If the flooding is severe enough to cause the sewage system to backup, you will not be able to do the cleanup yourself. A professional cleanup service is necessary to ensure the damage gets cleaned up without the risk of health hazards. Sewage carries many harmful, deadly diseases. If sewage is present, do not enter or allow children or pets to enter the water. If you entered the water, shower, disinfect all scrapes and cuts, and wash your clothing in hot water for at least ten minutes.

These tips will help you clean your home and mitigate damage after a flood.