When dealing with a recently flooded house, we should consider that safety is priority. This factor is of the utmost importance and in some cases, we shouldn’t enter our house until local authorities say that it is safe to do. In general, we shouldn’t go inside if significant quantity of water still remains around the property. In any case, we should be cautious when entering our house. The first thing that we need to check is the integrity of our utilities network. We should report broken power, gas and water lines to the authority. They should all be turned off and inspected by professionals. When walking in our house, we should look for downed power lines, especially if there is some water around them. Waterlines, drainage system and sewage should be repaired immediately, because they may represent significant water hazard.
Water line should be repaired first, because it is vital for us to get clean and potable water; instead of electricity and gas. This will prevent the whole family from being affected by water-borne diseases. It should be noted that flooding may represent significant fire hazards. Gas leak could be happen when the line is hit by onrushing water. In this case, we should use only battery-powered lighting and we should avoid smoking inside the house. When we have detected gas leakage, the utility company should be called immediately. Another potential hazard is possible structural damage. In this case, we should make sure that the house won’t collapse and the integrity of windows, staircases, doors, floors and walls must be checked.
It is important to avoid chemical hazard around our property after flood, such as leaking car batteries and propane tanks. Every surface of our home should be cleaned and disinfected. This may include hard surfaced floors and walls. Simple disinfectant solution could be made from a gallon of water and ¼ cup of chlorine bleach. As we clean the house, it is important to keep the windows open. The interior and exterior of the house should be properly dried out to avoid damages. Water should be gradually pumped up from the basement. Some items can no longer be used after flooding, such as mattress and couches. Then need to be disposed in the designated areas. Anything salvageable should be air dried under sunlight, cleaned, vacuumed and then disinfected with chlorine bleach spray.
Kitchen, fridge and other food storage areas could be seen as health hazard after flooding. Food will quickly spoil after being drenched in water. If the fridge can be salvaged, it should be emptied completely, cleaned and disinfected. In the kitchen, we should clean serving ware, utensils, tables, shelves and counters. Children room and other kids areas should be cleaned properly. Clothing can be cleaned with hot water washing. However, cotton clothing may need to be thrown away if it has been dried for many days. If carpet can be salvaged, we could steam clean it. In some cases, sewage may overflow in the bathrooms. We should wear waterproof gloves and rubber boots when cleaning our bathroom.