Unfortunately, floods aren’t just a tragedy we see happen to other people on the news. Floods can happen at any time and completely devastate your home or business. In Florida, we are surrounded by oceans and lakes that could potentially overflow after a storm or prolonged rains. Floodwaters contain bacteria, decaying insects, fluid from roadways, fertilizers, pesticides, and animal droppings. Additionally, the damage floodwaters leave can be overwhelming. So you are probably wondering…
“What Should I Do after a Flood?”
In order to help you, Urgent Restoration has made a list of the top 10 ways to limit health risks and reduce property damage after a flood.
1. Use Caution after a Flood
It is nerve-wracking to enter a flooded home or building, but here are 3 tips you can use to protect yourself and others. First, make sure the electricity is off. Second, have the building inspected to assure it is structurally sound. Third, be wary, small animals may have taken shelter, or drifted into your home or business with the floodwaters.
2. Protect Yourself
Properly cleaning up flood damage requires safety gear. You’ll need rubber gloves, eye protection, protective clothing, and an organic vapor respirator. All of this gear can be purchased from your local hardware or building supply store. While working, keep flood-affected areas ventilated by opening windows and using a fan when possible.
3. Know When to Throw out Belongings
Almost anything that can absorb contaminated floodwaters should be disposed of properly. This includes drywall, carpet, carpet padding, mattresses, pillows, box springs, electronics, and objects made of particleboard. On the other hand, wet clothing and items made of fabric may be salvaged. Most forms of contamination can be removed from fabric items as long as they can withstand soaking for 10 minutes in detergent followed by a machine wash with hot water.
4. Check Your Walls
Walls that have been affected by a flood need to removed and replaced. Make note of the waterline, then measure 15-20 inches above it. All drywall and insulation below that point should be removed.
5. Clean under Your Flooring
If you have hardwood, laminate, or vinyl flooring remove it to expose any pockets of excess water. After removing all floodwaters, clean and sanitize the area. Make sure the ground is completely dry before laying your flooring back down.
6. Clean and Sanitize
After a flood intrudes into your home or business you must clean and sanitize everything. It is often best to pressure wash once all items have been removed from the space. Then follow with a high-quality disinfectant. Urgent Restoration recommends that you have a professional water restoration company perform this step to ensure thorough effectiveness.
7. Check Wiring and Plumbing
Floods or debris can damage your plumbing and short electrical wiring. Unless you are trained in these areas, please work with a professional if you see damage. For example, appliances can short out during floods and can leak harmful, sometimes explosive gases, into the air.
8. Stop Mold
It is important to start your clean up quickly. Mold can start to appear 24-48 hours after a flood. Mold thrives in moist, warm environments between 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping proper ventilation throughout your space while maintaining a temperature below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, should help prevent or limit mold growth.
9. Dry out Thoroughly
Before rebuilding, everything must be completely dry. Damp, or almost dry is not good enough. If you reconstruct over damp materials, it can cause dry rot and structural damage. A professional water restoration company such as the experts at Urgent Restoration can ensure there has been enough drying before new construction begins.
10. Hire a Professional After a Flood
Every step we have listed is equally important and should be completed in its entirety. We understand that this list can be overwhelming, especially when you are dealing with the emotional aspects of a flood. However, this is not a time for error. At Urgent Restoration we are professional water damage restoration experts. We are IIRC certified and have helped clean and restore hundreds of water-damaged residences and business.
Flood Clean up in Central Florida
We hope you never have to deal with flood damage. Although if it happens to you, Urgent Restoration provides 24/7 service that will help you renew your home or business after a flood. Remember, the most important step in preventing further water damage is to call experts at Urgent Restoration (863) 583-5800. We have over a decade of experience providing service to Lakeland, Tampa, and the surrounding Central Florida area. Contact us now at (863) 583-5800 or send us an email.
Aaron Iannuzzi is the owner of Urgent Restoration with over a decade of experience in the restoration industry. Aaron started Urgent Restoration in 2018 and has locations in Florida and Georgia. The company specializes in water damage restoration, mold remediation, fire remediation and more. Aaron and his team of experienced technicians are proud to serve their communities to restore their homes and businesses back to normal.