Fire damage restoration steps

A few years ago, we had our washing machine break while we weren’t home and it flooded our entire apartment. It was a nightmare. We ended up not being able to live in our home for an entire month while they cleaned it. Thankfully, we didn’t have to pay for any of it, since we were renting but that was part of the problem; the landlord took his time choosing a cleanup service.

Flood water cleanup of any kind is no fun at all. Most people would be better off hiring flood cleanup companies to come and take care of everything for them, especially if you also need sewage cleanup services. If it was your toilet that overflowed into the house, you may need this and it’s not a clean job to say the least. The servicemen usually come in fully covered in hazmat suits and other equipment to take care of sewer backup cleaning. In any case, here are a few flood cleanup tips for you.

  1. The first thing you want to do in flood water cleanup is to remove any water that is standing and get the are dry as fast as you can. Opening the windows and doors and mopping up what you can is helpful. Use a pump that a shop vac to get out any standing water that is too deep to be mopped up.

  2. Once you have gotten rid of as much water as you can, then you can set up dehumidifiers and fans to remove the rest of the moisture. However, if there is mold, you’ll need to watch and be sure that you are not blowing it around. Fans should be pointed to blow outside while drying.

  3. Once the water is gone, you’ll want to find a mild detergent to clean all hard surfaces. Depending on how long the water was sitting, you might find that there is mold and mildew starting to build up. If that’s the case, a light bleach might be necessary.

  4. Sometimes, during flood water cleanup, you’ll have to get rid of things that cannot be salvaged. Carpets, carpet padding, upholstered furniture like couches, drywall and wood molding are all example of things that are never going to be the same after going through a flood. You will probably just have to throw all of those things away before they start getting moldy and disgusting.

  5. If the flood water cleanup is caused more than 10 square feet worth of mold to build up then you’ll need a contractor that knows how to get rid of mold. If your chosen contractor suggests that fogging or spraying is a good way to get rid of mold, use that as a red flag to move on to someone else. Moldy items always need to be taken out of the home.

  6. Any and all surfaces need to be allowed to completely dry through the air drying process before starting any of the restoration part. The home should be 100% dry before the rest of the work starts. If you don’t allow the house to dry entirely, you’ll just end up having to go back and redo most of the work that has already been done.

  7. If you need to use generators, make sure that they are not set up inside the house. They give off carbon monoxide which can cause poisoning when breathed in. If there has been a power outage and generators are necessary, they should only be used outside of the enclosed space.

If you are renting your home, then it can be a sensitive subject as to who is responsible for clean up when a flood happens. It’s usually the owner, but you need to make sure that there are no clauses in your contract that state you are responsible. Check especially about floods caused by natural disasters. That one particularly can be a problem because it’s not anybody’s fault. The owner should take responsibility as it is his or her house, but that is not always the case. Make sure that the terms are settled before signing the contract. If you already are in the home, review your lease and if there is nothing stated, ask your landlord to add a line regarding flooding.

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