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Was your home flooded? Here are some tips to safely clean it

By March 24, 2016Uncategorized

With winter’s end and the beginning of spring, melting snow and increased rain can cause flooding. Be prepared for a flood by checking out this article from Scott Stueber of West Bend.

As our weather patterns change and we move from winter to spring, flooding is a common phenomenon. Unfortunately flooding can happen without warning and isn’t covered by standard homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies.

Cleaning your home after a spring flood is an overwhelming, complicated, and expensive process. Here are some basic tips to help you get started.

  1. Air movement. Air movement is critical in drying out your home. If temperatures allow, open windows and set up fans. The more air circulating in your house, the better.
  2. Install dehumidifiers. There are many benefits to having a dehumidifier in your home all year round; however, they’re particularly important after a flood. Dehumidifiers pull moisture out of the air and help dry out your home.
  3. Disinfect surfaces. After a flood, many surfaces in your home will be contaminated with bacteria. Bleach can be used to disinfect these surfaces. Mix two tablespoons of bleach to one gallon of water for an effective cleaning solution.
  4. Inventory losses. If you purchased flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Plan, photos and other documents, such as receipts, can help determine the damage. Unfortunately, many things may have to be thrown away.
  5. Avoid working alone. Moving heavy furniture and tearing out carpet can be strenuous work. In addition, working with cleaning chemicals in a closed area can be dangerous. When you work with others, you can monitor each others’ well-being.
  6. Wear proper clothing. Boots, respirator masks, gloves, and safety glasses should be worn.
  7. Create a personal home inventory before a loss. If your house experiences a catastrophic loss from fire, water, or wind, will you remember everything you have inside? Probably not. Creating a home inventory can help you recover what you lost and ease your mind. For tips on how to create a home inventory, read “Protect your possessions: Take a home inventory”.

To create an online home inventory, visit the Insurance Information Institute.

If you experience severe home damage, a restoration company can help. These companies have trained staff and the right technologies to clean and restore property. Restoring property is far less expensive than replacing it.

For a detailed explanation on how to clean your home after a flood, check out these resources.
Purdue University – Flood Recovery: Cleaning Tips
Cleaning Up After a Flood

Sources: Scott Stueber at West Bend.