Cleaning Your Floors & Home After a Flood

Posted by on December 28, 2015

Clean laminate floors after flood

Handling a flood within your home or around your property can be extremely stressful and overwhelming, especially when you have furniture and belongings that have been damaged in the process. Although the stress of cleaning up can be intimidating, knowing how to clean up after a flood, keep your family safe and file a proper flood insurance claim can help you to overcome the challenge to begin living your life normally again. The more knowledgeable you are about floods and property damage, the easier it will be to get your life back on track.

When is it Safe to Return After a Flood?

Knowing when it is safe to return to your home or property after a flood is essential to keep your family safe from additional flooding, electrical damage and potential mold depending on the severity of the flood. Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio station if possible if you are dealing with a flood that was due to a natural disaster or weather that surrounds your home. It is also important to ensure your street does not have downed power lines, washed out roads or even trees surrounding your home before reentering the house. The more cautious you are, the less likely you are to run into any issues or potential danger.

Filing a Flood Insurance Claim

When you are dealing with a flood of any kind, it is vital to call your flood insurance agency immediately after the discovery in order to properly report the flood. Keep your policy number and have any contact information you may need to share readily available for the agent you talk with about filing the claim. Make an appointment as quickly as possible to have an insurance adjuster visit your home to assess the damage.

Take photos of all of the flooded areas of your home as best as you can, including shots of property, flooring and walls that may have been damaged in the process. Remove any undamaged property from the flooded area as soon as you can to lower the amount of damage you have to handle. Create a complete inventory list of your items and furniture along with the investment you have made in the flooring, walls and other areas of the property that have been damaged to show estimates to the insurance adjusters who visit your home.

Cleaning Up After a Flood

Cleaning up after a flood requires gear such as a face mask, clean water, hand soap, safety glasses and plenty of gloves to ensure you avoid touching any dangerous water, mold or even electrical items. Most of the times, flood water is often contaminated, so it is essential to treat it as if it is not safe to breathe, walk in and especially drink or wash in.

Turning off all of the home’s power is essential and can be done by reaching the electrical circuit in the home, switching the main power off along with any other outlets that may be on. Removing all clothing and the items you can from the flooded area is essential before you use a wet shop vacuum or a pump to help rid the water from your home. Washing walls and floors by hand, removing carpet and flooring and bleaching the entire area of your house that has been flooded will ensure it is safe to return to once the flood is completely gone.

Safety Issues When Dealing With a Flood

Mold can often be a big issue when handling a flood, so it is important to always air out the area that has been flooded while gearing up using masks, gloves and even wearing wading boots if the flood is deeper than expected. Avoid getting the water on your skin or in your mouth, as it may be contaminated and even contain sewage, which can be extremely harmful or fatal if ingested.

What Not to Do After You Experience a Flood
Do not use items that haveĀ been soaked in floodwater after a flood, as this can lead to harmful side effects, especially if the water was contaminated. Avoid walking in flood water without the proper gear. Also, be sure to turn off all power sources before you begin the cleanup process, regardless of the severity of the flood.

 

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