After the Flood – A Checklist for Flood Restoration
After a flood, it is important to restore your home or flooded area back to good order as soon as possible to protect the health of the occupants and to prevent further damage to house infrastructure and belongings. Whether you do the work yourself, or hire a professional flood restoration company, following an organized checklist will help ensure good and adequate results.
Immediate action is important. Getting things dried withing 48 hours will prevent the growth of mold and help limit the extent of permanent damage caused by the flood.
- personal safety is the most important thing. Wear rubber boots. Prevent electrical shock by turning power off to the flooded area. Get professional help as necessary.
- record details of damage, including photos or video. Notify your insurance company immediately and your municipality if it is a general flood situation.
- get prepared to make decisions about what to keep and to what will have to be thrown away. Items contaminated by sewage will have to be bagged and discarded according to local regulations and standards required by municipal guidelines. Check city flood regulations for guidance, and utilize personal protective equipment as necessary. You can also refer to the IICRC’s Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration.
- assemble personal protective equipment needed to safely do a flood restoration job; rubber boots, gloves, Tyvek disposable suits and masks (N95 respirators)
- assemble equipment you need to do the flood work which amongst other things would include pails, mops, squeegees, a wet vac, heavy duty plastic garbage bags, detergent and large plastic containers to put wet bedding, clothing, etc. into; additional equipment might include sump pumps, air movers, dehumidifiers or heaters.
Now you are prepared to get the flooded area restored.
- Store valuable papers that have been damaged in a freezer until there is time for them to be worked on.
- Remove standing water with sump pumps or pails, then give a thorough going over with a wet vac.
- Remove all soaked and dirty items and debris, including wet insulation, mud and soil, furniture, appliances, clothing and bedding; if it is nice outside this is one option; if somewhere else inside then increase dehumidification and air movement in these areas (utilize oscillating, floor, oven, and bathroom fans).
- Rinse and wipe clean affected areas of walls and furnishings with soap, water and a household disinfectant. Flooring that has been exposed to sewage or sewer water should be discarded.
- Work from the top down. Wet ceiling tiles, paneling and drywall will likely have to be removed unless air can be forced into the areas to get them dry fast, for example, by installing an inject-a-dry.
- Re-wipe and scrub down all affected or flooded surfaces with detergent and water, and rinse. Concrete and other hard painted surfaces can be cleaned with TSP (tri-sodium phosphate available at hardware stores in the paint department) and water (1/2 cup TSP to one gallon of warm water). When using TSP wear gloves and eye protection because it is highly corrosive. Bleach is NOT recommended. Depending of water pH, etc. the results can be inconsistent, and the fumes can be harmful.
- After thoroughly cleaning all affected surfaces, ventilate and dehumidify the flooded areas as much as possible until completely dry. Rapid drying is important to prevent mold. Weather permitting, open doors and windows. Get as many fans going as possible. Dehumidifiers can be very important in speeding up the drying process by pulling water out of the air.
- To get larger areas of wet carpets dry, get the help of qualified flood restoration professionals.
- Ensure that all exposed wall or structural areas are completely dry before recovering up. This could take weeks.
In general, discard all flooded insulation materials, and less expensive articles that have been soaked such as particle board furniture, mattresses, box springs, stuffed toys, pillows, non valuable papers and books. Frames of good quality wood furniture can sometimes be salvaged by drying away from direct sunlight or heat.
Before moving back in, do not use flooded appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes or fuse/breaker panels until they have been checked by an electrician. If the furnace, or HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system has been soaked, consult a service contractor to inspect the furnace blower motor, switches, controls, etc. Flush out floor drains and sump pits to remove greasy dirt and grime. Clean the footing drain outside the foundation if necessary.
If you have any questions regarding your flood restoration, call Ram’s Emergency Flood Restoration and Water Removal Service at 403-291-1051.
Ram Cleaning Services, Complete Cleaning and Maintenance Care serving Calgary and area since 1967
Tags: flood restoration checklist