9 Essential Cleaning Up Tasks After A Flood


In the aftermath of a natural disaster, we are all faced with the challenge of evaluating the damage and restoring our homes.  Making your house clean and liveable again will take energy and plenty of work.

Protect yourself and your family, and get your homes back to normal with the following tips:

Cleaning1. Check if it’s safe to enter.

Confirm that the area has been declared safe.  It’s best to enter the property during the day so you can see and avoid potential hazards.  Keep your pets and children away until you’ve examined the entire place yourself.

2. Inspect your property for damage.

Identify what needs to be repaired, what should be sanitised and what requires replacement.  Any food contaminated by water or damaged should be thrown out immediately.

3. Document the damage.

Go through the whole property and photograph all damages.  You will need this to file insurance claims and to show to the property manager.

4. Make a cleanup plan.

Come up with a list of tasks and a schedule.  Get your family members to help you clean and set the place to rights.

5. Call the utility companies to get your electricity, water and gas running again.

To ensure the tap water is safe to drink, reassemble the tap, clean it with detergent, put it back together and then let the water run for a couple of minutes to wash out any remaining dirt or soap.

6. Protect yourself.

Wear protective equipment when cleaning up: long sleeved shirts, boots, gloves and goggles.  Watch out for any unstable structures.  You might shift something by accident when cleaning.  Ask for help if you need to lift anything heavy.  Wash your hands with soap and water after cleaning anything dirty.

7. Disinfect everything.

You can use dishwashing or laundry detergent to disinfect most hard surfaces.  For items that were more contaminated, you can wipe them with a bleach solution but check first that the bleach won’t ruin the item further.  Be sure to thoroughly wash clothes and linen and dry them by exposing to sunlight.  Don’t hesitate to throw them out though if they’re heavily soiled, especially by dirty water.  Empty any containers of standing water as this is breeding ground for mosquitoes.

8. Call for professional cleaning services when you need them, particularly water extraction if your place is flooded.

Some furnishings will need expert help if they are to be saved, such as mattress and carpet cleaning for soaked mattresses and carpets.

9. Rearrange and renovate.

Give yourself time to fix broken fixtures, maybe buy some new furniture and redecorate your place.

Recovering from floods, cyclones and earthquakes may take time and patience but with these tips, cleanup should be easier every time.  Lastly, take what you’ve learned from every experience and use that to be better prepared for the next calamity.