Cleaning up those basements after the flood

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Something we may have to get used to:  Heavy rains in the Northeast are causing flooding like we saw in California earlier in the year.

And many people whose basements never flood are taking on water.

This might be a good time to touch on flood cleanup.  Water from flooding can create real problems.  When things get wet for more than a couple of days they usually get moldy. Add that to bugs and other microbes that come in during flooding or that thrive on moist conditions, and you’ve got a problem.

So if you’ve had flooding in the house, it’s important to clean and dry your house and everything in it as quickly as possible.  First, get the water out.  Throw away anything that was wet with flood water and can’t be rapidly dried and cleaned.  This includes not only belongings, but things like insulation and drywall, too.  And use fans (if the air is dry) or a dehumidifier to speed drying.

Clean and dry hard surfaces such as floors, walls, furnishings, etc.  Use a detergent or use a cleaner that kills germs.  Do not mix cleaning products together or add bleach to other cleaning products—this may generate and release toxic chemicals that can hurt or even kill you.

If you’ve got mold, you can clean it up—however if there is more than 10 square feet (about a 3 foot by 3 foot area), you may want to hire a professional to clean up the mold.  [See EPA’s mold cleanup recommendations.]

After you’ve solved the immediate cleanup, you’ll want to think about long-term prevention—keeping the water out—so you don’t have to do this again.  We’ll touch on that in another post later.

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One Response to “Cleaning up those basements after the flood”

  1. Carl- blogger at best vacuum for hardwood floors Says:

    A suggestion for people that are cleaning up mold…Make sure that you have the area properly ventilated if you choose to clean it up yourself. Some of the most popular methods of treatment involve things such as Clorox which can leave behind a nasty smell. Make sure the windows and even doors are open or you will have to put the job on hold until the odor goes away…

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