Your home can flood from water from a frozen or busted water pipe, from rising rainwater/sewer water, or from the accidental bathtub overflow. Whatever the reason for your flood, you need to clean it up properly to prevent mold and mildew from growing in your home. Your home needs to be thoroughly cleaned up and as quickly as possible. See below for helpful tips on how to clean up after a flood.
Start Draining The Water
Drain the water out using a sump pump or more than one if you have quite a bit of water. Pump it away from your home using a long garden hose, so it doesn't come back inside. You can rent a sump pump from a rental company if you don't own one yourself.
Begin Removing The Mud
If your flood waters were from groundwater or rainwater, chances are, you probably have mud and other debris in your home. Use a shovel to scrape up as much of the mud and debris out of your home as you can. The debris and mud can be contaminated, so be sure to wear gloves, protective eye-wear and protective clothing.
Sort Through Your Damaged Items
Unfortunately with a flood, some items may not be able to be salvaged. Clothing can be washed in hot water and detergent, but you should rinse off any mud or dirt to prevent it from clogging your washing machine. Anything that says dry clean only should be thrown out. Upholstered furniture that was damaged should be thrown out. Carpeting and carpet padding should be thrown out immediately to prevent mold. Appliances that were damaged by flood waters should be removed, but be sure the electricity is turned off before doing so. Water damaged appliances can corrode and possibly short out.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Once you have all of your damaged items removed, you can begin the process of cleaning. Use bleach and water to clean up any surfaces and floors damaged or contaminated by the flood water. To help dry out your home, rent dryers and dehumidifiers from a rental company to help pull water out. You can also run your central air conditioner (if possible) to help dehumidify your home. Try not to use heaters, as they can create humidity in your home, which will breed bacteria.
Replace Damaged Drywall
Drywall that was damaged in the flood needs to be replaced to prevent mold and mildew from growing. Once the drywall is removed, the interior portion of the walls (the studs) should be inspected and painted with a protective paint to prevent mold growth.
For a minor flood, you should be able to clean up your home yourself. However, for a major flood, it may be in your best interest to contact a flood restoration company (such as Complete Restoration Services) to have your home professionally cleaned, repaired and inspected.