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How do you clean up after a flood?


The water has finally gone down, and now you are faced with the enormous task of cleaning up after your house has flooded. It might seem like there is just too much work to handle. Trying to tackle things, one step at a time, can be the way to get through it. Water, dirt, debris, damage and even managing the mold after a flood can.

After the water has been bailed, pumped or otherwise drained out of your flooded rooms, where do you begin with the cleaning?

Actually, before you begin, you should get a good quality face mask. As we’ll be discussing in a few moments, there can be a lot of filth and contamination in this mess and you don’t want to breathe in any spores or parasites while you work. Wear gloves and a long-sleeve shirt too.

Loose Debris

The first thing to be cleaned up and removed is all the loose garbage, branches, and other debris that the flood has left behind. Much is probably yours but there can be a lot of trash brought in by the water from outside.

This would also include any damaged flooring or walls that have broken away and need to be removed. If the walls are made of drywall or sheet rock, you may want to tear out the wet portions rather than try to dry and clean them. In that case, this is one more load of debris that will need to be hauled out.

Mopping and Scrubbing

Once all the loose debris is gathered up and moved out of the area, you need to do more serious cleaning. Nothing unique about this part of the job. You just need buckets, soap, clean water, rags and a mop.

As you are doing the cleaning, you should work on getting the space dried out as well. Obviously, you need to use water to do the cleaning, but as soon as the actual scrubbing is finished, you have to get fans and dehumidifiers running as much as you can.

Mold Prevention

There is one specific aspect of flood cleaning that makes it different from most other cleaning jobs, and that is the risk of serious mold development due to the dampness. Not to mention all of the dirt and contamination that the waters have brought in. Without proper attention your walls and flooring can easily start to develop huge (and dangerous) colonies of mold, often in unseen areas.

You’ll have to go beyond the usual soap and water for this, especially for areas that are somewhat porous that may not be clean deeper into the material. Treat surfaces with a dilute solution of bleach wherever you can. Let it soak in where necessary to sanitize beneath the surface.

One huge risk when it comes to flooding, is your property developing legionella bacteria due to a lot of dampness and water. To combat this, you could try and clean yourself, but investing in cleaning services such as Ideal Cleaning, who provide legionella specialised health checks and cleaning would probably be the best (and overall safest) idea. Legionella can cause legionellosis, which is a serious respiratory disease, and so taking extra precautions in this case is well worth the money.

A flooded mess can seem overwhelming, but you can definitely deal with it if you roll up your sleeves and start with the loose stuff first. After that, scrub out the dirt and you’re practically finished. Of course even after you’ve done the clean up there will more than likely be areas of your home that will need a renovation.