Flooding can leave you with a big mess to clean, and the key to the cleanup process is acting quickly. Starting the cleanup immediately may mean the difference between losing a few items and losing a lot more of your belongings. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Entering the house: Before stepping foot inside, turn off the main circuit breaker to prevent potential shocks conducted by floodwaters. Put on rubber boots, long pants, thick gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from the sewage and other bacteria found in floodwater. Open the windows and doors to start airing out the house. You can also bring in fans and dehumidifiers. Remember, the quicker things dry out, the smaller the risk of mold and mildew development.
- Documentation: Take pictures of the damages to show to your insurance provider. The more proof you have, the higher your chances of maximizing your reimbursement check. Hold onto all receipts associated with the cleanup process, including professional services.
- Sorting damaged items: Separate all items that were touched by floodwater into two piles: salvageable and non-salvageable. Soft items like clothing and carpeting will likely be non-salvageable if fully submerged. However, many hard items like wood furniture and cookware can be salvaged after a good wash.
- Washing: All salvageable items must be washed and disinfected to protect against the potential spread of illness. Mix a solution of three-quarters of a cup of bleach to one gallon of water, then scrub counter-tops, hard flooring, walls, hard furniture and other surfaces. Dishes and salvageable clothing and linens can be washed at a friend’s house while you clean your own home.
- Electronics: With warning, you may have moved electronics onto a high shelf. If they remain above the flood level, then they should be salvageable with minimal cleanup. However, if any electronics were submerged, they will have to be throw out.
- Getting helps from pros: Cleaning up a flood is a huge job, so don’t be afraid to call professionals for help. You may wish to contact furniture restorers, a wet-dry vac professional and professionals to install new carpeting and/or drywall.
- Inspection: After the big cleanup is done, have your home inspected thoroughly before moving back in permanently. Have an electrician inspect the electrical systems before turning the power back on. Have your air ducts inspected for signs of mold or mildew to prevent blowing the nasty stuff throughout your home’s A/C system.
We’re here to help you in times of need. Call 843.740.1723 for more information on North Charleston flood insurance.