Insight To Help You Clean Up Your Home After Being Flooded
Many parts of the United States have recently seen an excess of precipitation and flooding. When you experience flooding in your neighborhood, unfortunately, there is little you can do to stop the waters from entering into your home. Here are some tips to help you deal with the flooding inside your home to clean up the water, prevent mold growth, and replace damaged materials.
When the flooding has receded from your home to allow you to drain it of any standing water, you should try to begin the drying-out process as soon as possible. Mold can begin to grow on wet surfaces inside your home within 24 to 48 hours on any surface where mold spores are present, which is in most places.
Along with the flood waters, you may experience mud and silt that has shifted into your home with the water currents. For this reason, you may need to use shovels to clean out the mud and sludge left over from the flooding. Be sure to wear rubber boots and work gloves to protect you from any contaminants and sharp objects in the water during the clean-up. Flood waters cause sewer drains to overflow and contaminate the water during flooding with bacteria and other pathogens.
Use a water pump to remove water from your home, which you can rent from an equipment rental store. You may find pumps available from local clean-up organizations and disaster relief groups. You can also use a wet/dry shop vacuum to pull excess water from your home.
Remove and Replace Water-Damaged Materials
After you have removed the standing water from inside your home, you will need to remove damaged materials that cannot be properly dried out or that already have mold growth on them and cannot be cleaned. Materials that cannot be salvaged includes items, such as carpeting and padding, drywall, batting insulation, and ceiling tiles.
Drywall becomes soggy and soft when it is wet and deteriorates, losing its integrity. Batting insulation loses its ability to insulate when its air pockets are filled with water, and they can facilitate and provide a perfect environment for mold growth. Any items that have become moldy should be bagged up in plastic trash bags and sealed to prevent the mold spores from spreading. Dispose of the sealed bags into an outside trash can or dumpster.
Upholstered furniture and mattresses can include items you need to dispose of after they have become wet from flooding, as they cannot be dried out and cleaned properly. Clothing, bedding, and other items that will fit inside your washer can be washed of contaminants and mold by washing them with bleach, detergent, or a hot water cycle. Wipe off solid-surface items with a cleaning solution of water and bleach or detergent and water.
Dry Out Your Home's Interior
After you have remove the materials inside your home that have absorbed the flood waters, you can begin to dry out materials, such as flooring, wood, and ceramic tiles. Turn on fans throughout your home to circulate the air flow through your home, especially on floors and wall materials that are wet. After you have removed insulation and drywall from a water-soaked wall, the air blowing onto the interior wall joists will help dry them out and prevent mold growth.
If the outside air is less humid that your home's interior, open up your home's windows to help dry out its interior. Otherwise, you can use a dehumidifier inside your home to pull moisture from the air and aid in the drying-out. You can buy a dehumidifier at most home improvement stores. You can also turn on your home's heating system or central air conditioner, especially if they have dehumidifiers installed within them.
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