How to Make Flood Cleanup Less Overwhelming

flood cleanup

Flood cleanup after home water damage can be a daunting proposition. What to do first? What next? Minute by minute, water damage keeps getting worse if effective flood cleanup is delayed. Yet, pressure and uncertainty make decisive action difficult. An effective antidote to feeling overwhelmed by a crisis is to set priorities, make a list, and follow it. If water damage strikes, here are some suggestions to make flood cleanup less stressful and more efficient.

1. Shut off the source. If it’s a ruptured pipe or overflowing appliance, turn off the water to the house at the main shutoff valve. Call a plumber for emergency service if you can’t turn off the water. It’s a good idea to rehearse the process to shut off the water in advance.

2. Keep children and pets away from water.

3. Turn off electricity to affected areas. If standing water is present in certain areas, stay out of those rooms until electricity is shut off at the main circuit breaker panel. If the circuit breaker panel is in a wet area, call an electrician to do the job instead.   

4. Save the most valuable items first. If you can do so safely, access the most irreplaceable items, including jewelry, family heirlooms, photographs, important documents, cash, etc., and move to a dry area of the house, ASAP.

5. Get standing water out.  Mop up smaller pools. For larger, deeper water accumulation, use brooms, a floor squeegee, or other objects to push water out of the house through exterior doors. 

6. If weather permits, open windows and allow fresh air to continuously circulate during flood cleanup.

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