When flooding strikes your home, what can you do yourself and what should be left to experts? In most cases, an inundation by outdoor flooding calls for professional water damage recovery to protect your house and belongings—not only from the immediate damage but from long-term consequences such as toxic mold contamination. That’s one reason homeowner’s insurance companies typically require clean-up to be performed by a qualified water damage recovery firm with the training and specialized equipment to mitigate losses in the aftermath of significant flooding. However, that doesn’t rule out a few basic, do-it-yourself efforts to expedite the process:
- First, don’t enter the house until it has been declared safe. If electricity is on, be aware of electrocution hazards in the wet environment. Wear a face mask for breathing protection, gloves and boots to avoid contact with flood water.
- Remove as much pooled water as possible by pushing it out the door using a floor squeegee or, if one is not available, a wide floor broom. Don’t wade into deep standing water such as a flooded basement, however.
- Excessive indoor humidity from flooding can damage parts of the house that aren’t directly contacted by water. Open doors and windows throughout the house to allow humidity to escape. If you have electricity, run fans to enhance ventilation but don’t use in wet areas.
- If water inundation is due to widespread outdoor flooding, consider all water inside the house to be contaminated with sewage, toxic chemicals and/or other health threats. Any items contacted by flood water thus need to be disinfected with a mixture of 3/4 cup of chlorine bleach per one gallon of clean water. Items you elect not to disinfect should be removed and discarded.
- Carpets soaked by outdoor flood waters should be considered contaminated and can be removed from the house immediately if practical. If water contacting the carpet came from a clean indoor source like a ruptured pipe, leave it in place for water damage professionals to extract the water. Throw rugs can usually be washed and disinfected.
For qualified professional water damage recovery services, contact Rytech, Inc.
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