Post-Flood Safety Tips For Cleanup
With the river receding, finally, many are working hard to clean up the mess and try to restore their lives as best as possible. Willy Johnson, owner of Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration, spoke with me today about the flooding and how you can protect yourself and others.
- Site safety is critical, use caution when entering buildings. Make sure electrical power is off and the structure is sound. Small animals or reptiles may seek shelter inside a structure, so be cautious when repositioning contents or removing materials.
- Protect yourself. Flood water is contaminated with many different toxins and harmful agents. Wear a vapor respirator along with rubber gloves, eye protection, and protective clothing. Ventilate affected areas by opening windows and placing a fan in the window if you can. Work toward the fan as you clean to minimize cross-contamination.
- Clean all surfaces for disinfection. Wall cavities and exposed durable materials (studs, joists) should be cleaned by pressure washing with detergent solutions. After thoroughly cleaning and flushing salvageable materials, apply a disinfectant solution liberally.
- Drying of structural materials to reduce fungal growth. Open pockets of saturation by removing base molding and portions of damaged walls and wet insulation. Flooring, such as hardwood, laminate, or sheet vinyl, should be removed to expose pockets of saturation underneath for cleaning, sanitizing, and drying.
- Know what to throw away. Porous items that absorb contaminated water shouldn’t be restored. Items such as drywall, carpet and pad, mattresses, pillows, and box springs should be discarded if wet. Wet clothing and many household fabrics may be salvageable. Machine washing, including at least a 10-minute soak in detergent and hot water, should remove most contamination and stains
Also, Willy was keen to point out the number of scammers targeting storm victims. The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) is a non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. If you are approached by any company for water restoration services, call the IICRC Hotline to confirm they are certified.
Also, you can visit IICRC.org for a list of certified water restorers!
Be safe out there and look ahead to the days when everything is back to normal.