In preparation for Hurricane Florence, which threatens to bring record rainfall to much of eastern North America this summer, flood cleanup contractors have been dispatched to make sure that roads, gutters, basements, and other low-lying areas are properly purged of standing water. Flood Cleanup becomes essential when water accumulates on rooflines, crawl spaces, and other susceptible parts of your property. Additionally, clean up can help prevent mold and mildew from developing on wet carpet and wood framing, which can develop into a full-blown fungus infestation in as little as 48 hours. In this guide, we’ll discuss steps you should take to prepare for this year’s floods.
Flush Walls and Floors with Flood Cleanup: Booklet. This is a twenty-four-page booklet of the April 19,2021, informational seminar Flood-damaged Properties: Approaches to Efficient Decontamination, Dealing with Mildew and Mold, featuring Dr. Robert Kopp, a nationally recognized mold expert. It discusses the best ways to clean flooded walls, floors, ceilings, and other areas.
Dry Carpets and Walls: Dry Carpets is an excellent way to protect your investment in your home, but only if they’re disinfected. A major study released in March 2021 by the Associated Press found that more than six thousand homes in fifteen states were damaged or contaminated by E. Coli due to improper or unclean flooding. Most of these homes were made with substandard materials, which allowed the contaminants to enter the home and create health risks. Your home’s subfloor and carpet must be completely dry, disinfected, and sanitized with a thorough disinfectant, according to the EPA’s Domestic Flood Cleanup Guide. For this guide, we recommend disinfectants such as chlorine bleach, Lysol, Benzine, Thymol and Pyrometer, or a variety of natural or organic disinfectants, and oil-based cleaners.
Furniture: Many pieces of furniture, including tables and chairs, are particularly at risk for damage during a flood. We recommend having them covered or protected with a piece of flood insurance. If your home has a basement, you may need to have it dehumidified and made safe for storage prior to cleanup. Remember to protect furniture from becoming moldy make sure cabinets, flooring, and baseboards are totally dry and free of water. As long as the area remains dry and there are no leaks, most pieces should withstand the cleaning process.
Sewage Treatment Plants and Stations: Most sewage treatment plants experience flooding during severe storms. Thousands of homes across the country experience flooding with contaminated floodwater and sewage, and pose serious health threats to inhabitants. A great majority of these unfortunate victims never realize they’ve been contaminated with toxic waste until after a crisis. In the event of flooding, sewage backup poses a significant threat to public health and safety, and clean up often poses a challenge to both firefighters and sanitation workers.
Mold: Mold is one of the most common contaminants after a disaster. It grows easily in places that sustain little or no water, such as damp attics and crawl spaces. It thrives on dead human tissue and can cause many health problems ranging from allergies to asthma to even cancer. The best way to minimize the risk of contracting mold after a flood cleanup is to make sure it’s dry and out of your house and properly disinfected before removal. Contact a professional mold inspector to discuss your immediate needs and if you’re willing to wait to make sure the area is completely dry and mold-free.