How To Clean Your House After Flooding

By Subodh / September 28, 2014

Your house can be left with a major mess after a flood and you will definitely need bacterial screening. Not only does flooding wreck your home but it also causes health risks due to the fact that flood waters often contain chemical contaminants, raw sewage, etc. This is why you need to take immediate measures to clean your house after it has been hit by a flood. To make sure that every nook and cranny in your house is well-cleaned, you need to use the most effective cleaning methods and solutions.

Equipment to Use to Clean Your Flooded House

When you need to clean out your home, you should make it a point to wear protective equipment as you will come in contact with materials that have been contaminated by flood water. The equipments that you should use to protect yourself include:

  • Boots that are puncture-proof and water-proof
  • Rubber gloves and strong work gloves to protect you while you clean and remove items that have flood-damaged
  • Respirator masks to protect you if you need to clean areas that have asbestos, mould, dust, etc.
  • A shovel to dig out submerged items as you need to avoid using your hands to do the job, even if you are wearing gloves
  • First aid supplies to disinfect and cover wounds or cuts before or after flood clean-up

flood damage in the home

Items to Dispose

If you have screened your flooded home for bacteria, you will no doubt find many contaminated materials that should be quickly discarded. It is important to dispose them in a proper manner by using plastic bags that are tightly sealed. The items you should discard while cleaning your flood-hit home include the following:

  • Inexpensive items damaged by flood water
  • Furniture made of fiberboard
  • Upholstered furniture that have been in contact with sewage water and other organic materials
  • Comforters, duvets and pillows
  • Mattresses as well as box springs
  • Water-filled electrical appliances
  • Invaluable paper products and papers
  • Papers that have been soaked in flood water for many days

How to Clean Floors

Cleaning floors is important after a flood. They can be damaged and soiled by the water that flows in to your home during a flood. For proper cleaning and sanitizing of your floors, you will need to:

  • Move all your furniture outside.
  • Remove floor coverings that can be removed and put them outside.
  • Remove carpets and underlays so that your floors do not become delaminated or distorted.
  • Use warm water to clean your floors.
  • Sanitize every surface in your home with a solution made with 4 liters of water and 1 tablespoon of bleach.
  • Make sure all your floors are dry before you keep any covering on them.
  • Clean all the floors even if they were not touched by water as the humidity that they were exposed to would have made them prone to the growth of mold.
  • Make sure that the cavities between your ceiling and the floor is inspected to see if they are wet. If they are, you should take immediate action to start cleaning and drying these floor cavities.

Food to Throw Out

The only foods that you will be able to keep after a flood are those in canned in metal containers. If any of the cans are damaged, you should get rid of them, even if there are no visible holes. Here is how you can clean your salvaged cans of food:

  • Use soap and warm water to clean the cans. The caps and rims should be scrubbed with a brush that has firm bristles.
  • Make sure that they are properly sanitized by using a bleach solution that is mild (you can use the same solution mentioned above).
  • Dry them all off properly and quickly so that they do not rust.
  • Get rid of the following if they have been exposed to flood waters:
    • Foods that are boxed
    • Bottled beverages and jarred products
    • Refrigerator contents if power has been off for over 12 hours and freezer contents if power has been off for over 48 hours.

Always use your common sense and throw away anything that you have any doubts about. It is best to be safe.
Many people think that it is easy to clean their homes after it has been hit by a flood; after all, it is only water. But as mentioned earlier, flood water contains many harmful contaminants that could do a great deal of harm to you and your family’s health. It is important to make sure that you take every protective measure before you start cleaning your flood-hit home.

Making sure that you are well-protected from chemicals, raw sewage and polluted flood water, while cleaning your home after a flood, can go a long way in preventing health hazards. A bacterial screening will show you just how many harmful organisms and substances are present in flood water, so be safe while you clean your home!