Emergency Flood damage clean-up basics Part 3
Cleaning and Sterilizing the Home
.Professionals do not use Bleach in the clean up or the mold removal process!! Please try to get your hands on professional chemicals and solutions that are better and safer than you using Bleach. However, the governments websites still recommend the following...The recommended mixture of water to bleach is ten parts water to one part Bleach. Better yet use EPA registered anti-microbial.
Deciding What to Salvage and Tips on Reconditioning
Save valuable and sentimental things first. Remember they are only things. You still have your health and Jehovah, don’t stress on the temporary situation, nothing can happen that God can’t reverse.
If things got wet with clean water, (roof leak) they are more likely to be saved, if they get wet from rising water (floods) the water is so contaminated that you need to treat it as if it was sewage water.
Evaluating appliance damage is a high priority after a flood. Have a service person check flooded appliances before you attempt operation or invest a lot of time in clean-up.
Deciding which furniture to save may be a more personal issue, especially if you have antiques and other pieces with sentimental value. Keep in mind that you don't need to repair all pieces of salvageable furniture immediately. You can clean, dry and store them in a warm, well-ventilated place until you have time to deal with them.
Three bucket cleaning system
1. Pump sprayer contains detergent (do not use
Sprayer for bleach)
2. Rinse bucket ~ should be changed frequently
3. Squeeze wringer bucket for dirty water
4. 32 oz mop head ~ clean or replace frequently
Many items can only be saved by professionals using professional equipment, and processes, such as upholstered furniture, etc
Before you enter a flooded basement, take time to:
For safety reasons, do not use an electric pump powered by your own electrical system. Instead, use a gas-powered pump or one connected to an outside line. Fire departments in some communities may help with pumping services.
More damage may be done by pumping flooded basements too soon or too quickly. Water in the basement helps brace the walls against the extra pressure of water-logged soil outside. If water is pumped out too soon, walls may be pushed in or floors pushed up. To help prevent this kind of structural damage:
After water has been pumped from the basement, shovel out the mud and debris while it is still moist. Hose down walls to remove as much silt as possible before it dries. Scrub the walls and floor with a detergent. Floors and walls may need sanitizing, particularly if sewage has entered the basement. Scrub walls and floors with a disinfecting solution of 1 cup chlorine bleach per gallon of water.
Pump out the water, remove the debris, remove the vapor barrier set a fan to suck out and let dry for one or two weeks, then install new vapor barrier. (Very important or your house will never dry, NEVER)
The forgoing series is a Public Service provided by
Lee Ramey of Mold and Mildew Solutions, IICRC Master Cleaner, Master Restoration Tech, Certified Mold Remediator, & Council Certified Indoor Environmentalist. He is a 34 year veteran of dealing with wet and flooded homes.
Mold and Mildew Solutions llc, 908 13th St No. Birmingham Al 35203
205-252-5326 and firstname.lastname@example.org
The forgoing is a concise amalgamated summary of the guidelines and Standards that have be published by the IICRC, EPA, FEMA and OSHA. It also assumes that you are not hiring a professional remediation company. However, you can judge the quality of the contractor if you do hire one, as they should be following these principles at a minimum.
It is also based on 30 plus years of first-hand knowledge and industry practices. This is the basics so that you can get a safe home again. Flood waters contain many contaminants and should be considered as dangerous as sewage. Wet structures and contents that have been affected must be cleaned and sterilized before re-use.
Please do not cut any corners, your families future health can depend upon your handling this situation right the first time.
Insurance companies are not looking out for your best interests!! Do what will give YOU the healthiest outcome.