There's nothing like seeing one of your most important investments in life (that is, your house) get struck by nature's wrath (that is, floods caused by a hurricane). Your heart will surely ache as you wade through floodwater, trying to salvage as many clothes, furniture, and electronic gadgets, as possible. I very well am familiar with this feeling. Despite the fact that I've only moved twice in my lifetime, our family have dealt with the effects of water damage more times than I can remember. So if you're faced with such a problem and you think you'll lose your mind because you don't even know where to start, here is a step by step guide to help you in cleaning your home and restoring it back to its original gleam.
1. Turn off the power.
For safety purposes, turn off the power that leads to the flood-soaked areas of your home. Make sure all electronics are unplugged, too.
2. Move all furniture and other items.
The earlier you can get your prized furniture items out of the way, the better. Those items which are unsalvageable have to be tossed away (yes, this includes the carpet, pad, insulation and drywall). Look for a recycling center near your home so you can bring them all the items you believe can still be recycled instead of throwing them all into a dumpster.
3. Dry out the house.
Start by getting rid of standing water using a wet-dry vacuum if you want to finish fast. You can also do it manually with the help of a mop and bucket (which are very useful in case your house doesn't have power turned on). After standing water has been removed, open the windows and doors. Line up the fans and let them dry out excess water. In case your vents were exposed to floodwater, don't turn on the HVAC unit. Call a professional who can inspect and clean the ducts before turning it back on.
4. Remove the mold (and prevent them from coming back).
Water damage increases the chance of mold growing in your home. So depending on how huge the area which has been infected by mold is, you can either tackle the job with your family members or hire a professional mold remediation company (which is expensive, trust me). If you decide to go DIY, just be sure to wear protective covering for your body including goggles, respiratory mask, rubber gloves, and rubber boots before you get started on this tedious task.
5. Disinfect all flood-soaked areas and items.
Get rid of bacteria by using a powerful disinfectant in cleaning your walls, floors, and items which can be cleaned with water. For your clothes which have been contaminated with floodwater, soak them in hot water with detergent for about an hour before washing.
6. Do a second round of general cleaning.
After you've said goodbye to the mold, clean your house once again giving the flood-soaked areas more focus. Divide the tasks to family members so you can move all furniture back and start organizing your home again.
Cleaning a flooded home is no easy task. But with the help of this guide, your family members, and a number of kind neighbors, you'll be on your way to seeing it restored to its former beauty in no time.