Entire basement floods can lead to electrical hazards and structural damage in addition to soaked possessions that may be in storage. Laundry or bathroom floods may be more localized, but they can cause significant problems too. In any case, knowing what to do after a flood will help speed along the cleanup process and help minimize damage to your valuables.
Hazards of Floods
The most important thing to consider after a flood is the safety of you and your family.
- Sewage Backup: Floods that involve sewage backup can be very hazardous to your health. Wear proper protection such as waders, gloves, eye protection, and a face mask if you absolutely need to enter a basement with sewage backup.
- Electric Shocks: Basement floods can be particularly dangerous if the electricity in your home is still running. Outlets under the water level may still be live, which means that you could be electrocuted without proper protection. If the main electrical panel in your house is in the basement, you may not be able to turn off the electricity without a professional electrician. In these cases, avoid entering the basement until an electrician has turned off the power.
- Trip and Fall Hazards: Even if you frequently visit your basement and know the layout like the back of your hand, floods can move some objects around to unexpected places, causing a fall hazard.
What to Do After a Flood
After a flood, it’s important to call a water cleanup service! Tidal Wave Response is a water damage restoration company that serves the Atlanta metro area. Our flood restoration service can help dry your home and belongings, repair any damage, eliminate or prevent mold and mildew, and ensure that your home is safe to live in again.
Cleaning Up After a Flood
In addition to calling a professional water cleanup service, you can help speed along the drying process too! The less time that water has to absorb deeply into walls, carpets, and building structures, the better chance you have of preventing mold and mildew growth in your home.
When it is safe to do so, remove all water damaged property from the affected areas and move to higher ground or outdoors to dry. Anything that has absorbed water will increase the humidity in the room and slow the drying process.
Drying Area Rugs
Fortunately, most area rugs can be dried and restored without too much difficulty. For the most part, you can take an area rug outside and hang it over furniture or a railing to dry. If this is not an option, then remove the rug to a dry area and set a box or floor fan in front of the rug. Rotate the fan every few hours to promote even drying.
When your rug is dry, you can sprinkle baking soda onto the rug to absorb odors and work it into the fabric with a stiff-bristled broom. Leave the baking soda solution in overnight and vacuum the next day, repeating as necessary until the smell is gone.
If a rug has been affected by sewage, it is generally recommended that it is discarded for health safety reasons. The rug will most likely contain hazardous contaminants, and if kept, may also hold onto an unpleasant odor after drying.
Drying Waterlogged Furniture
Wooden furniture may take several days to dry. It is not recommended to apply artificial heat such as from a space heater. Instead, remove drawers if possible, open the back, and let a standing or box fan circulate air naturally. Wooden furniture may take a week or two to dry.
Upholstered furniture should only be cleaned by a professional. It’s important to consider cost of restoration, the sentimental value of the furniture, and the severity of the damage. In many cases, upholstered furniture may need to be discarded. If your furniture has been affected by contaminated water, you will most likely have to discard it.
Cleaning your house after a flood takes time, effort, and patience, but you aren’t alone. Tidal Wave Response will be with you from start to finish as we work to restore your home back to its original condition.