Cleaning Up After Flooding
Many areas we serve suffered damages from Hurricane Sandy. As a Long Island plumber, we saw first hand the strength of the storm. Now that the clean-up phase has begun, you may be wondering how and where to start cleaning up if your property was flooded. Here are some steps you can take as you begin this difficult process:
Before You Start
Before you even start the clean-up process, be sure to take plenty of photos for insurance purposes. If you plan to work with your insurance company, you will likely need documentation that shows the extent of the flooding damage.
Also make sure you are working in a safe environment. If power lines have fallen, do not approach the water on your property because you may be in danger of electrocution. Gather some basic supplies like gloves, buckets, scrub brushes, rags, a garden hose, shovels, cleaners and chlorine bleach.
Disinfect Where Possible and Save Keepsakes
First, disinfect and get rid of any contaminated material. If there was major flooding, the mud around your home may be contaminated by chemicals and waste. Wearing gloves, shovel the mud into buckets and dispose of it in a safe area. Also use a garden hose to spray mud away from your home’s foundation. Use a scrub brush and a cleaner to clean any surfaces you can, and then use a mixture of water and bleach (as directed on the bottle) to disinfect the surfaces.
You can disinfect kitchen tools by letting them soak in a mixture of two tablespoons of chlorine bleach and one gallon of water for 10 minutes. Let the items air dry instead of using a towel to dry them. Boil things like utensils and silverware in water (without bleach) for 10 minutes, then let them air dry.
Let wet furniture air dry. If mold appears, use a brush and a cleaning solution (if you can do so without ruining the furniture) to remove it. If the damage is extensive, you will need a professional’s help.
Paper items like photographs and important papers can be saved if you take care of them properly. Rinse or pat any mud off of them and store them in freezer bags in the freezer. This will protect them from further water and mold damage. Then you can carefully thaw them out and clean them properly before letting them air dry.
Things like toys, stuffed animals and mattresses should be disposed of to prevent health problems.
Protect Your Home
If the drywall in your home is wet, use proper equipment and cut the contaminated portions from the rest of the wall. Drywall can soak up a lot of water, which can become dirty and moldy quickly, posing a health risk to you and your family. Try to create air circulation that will help your drywall dry more quickly. The same goes for wet carpet. However, if you have wood floors, you will want to make sure they dry more slowly to prevent cracking.
If you have the right equipment, you can pump the water out of your basement. Be sure to only drain two to three feet of water each day, otherwise you could cause more damage to your walls and foundation, and even cause parts of your home to collapse.
The appliances in your home can be cleaned with cleaning supplies. However, if they suffered extensive or internal damage, you will need to contact a professional to make the proper repairs. If you are looking for a plumber in Massapequa or a Long Island plumber, contact us.
Pat Dolan Plumbing is a professional Massapequa plumber that offers many professional services. If you are looking for a Long Island plumber in 11758, or surrounding areas, contact us for expert drain cleaning and 24-hour emergency services.