Water In Your Home: 4 Steps To Safely Clean Up The Mess
You just got home from vacation to find out that your home has been flooded. You’re going to want to get it cleaned up as soon as possible. However, since the water has been standing for a few days, and you don’t know what the source of flooding was, you should assume that the water is contaminated. Stepping into contaminated water without protection could leave you vulnerable to infections and diseases, such as hepatitis A. Here are some step-by-step instructions you should follow for a thorough clean-up.
Put On Your Safety Gear
Before you begin handling contaminated water, you’ll need to make sure you’re wearing the appropriate clothing and safety gear. Wearing safety gear will protect you while you’re in the water. Here’s the gear you’ll need to wear during clean-up.
- Slip-resistant boots – to prevent falling in the water
- Gloves – to protect your hands
- Long sleeved shirt – with the sleeves tucked into your gloves
- Long pants – with the legs tucked into your boots
- Safety goggles – to prevent contamination from entering your eyes
- Mask – to keep contaminated water out of your mouth
Remove the Water
Now that you’re protected against contamination, you’re ready to remove the water. If there is a significant amount of standing water, you’ll need to use sump pumps to remove the water. However, if you only have a few inches of standing water on the ground, you can use wet/dry vacuums to remove the water.
You’ll want to move room-to-room, beginning at the back of your home. As each room is cleared of water, close the door and place a towel along the outer edge to prevent water from draining back under the door.
Remove the Carpeting
If your carpeting has been thoroughly saturated, or the water was contaminated with solid waste – such as from a sewage back-up – you’ll need to remove it. Once you’ve removed the excess water, lift the edges of the carpeting up to loosen it from the tack strip along the edges of the room. Roll the carpeting up and carefully carry it out of your home. It will need to be cleaned and sanitized before it can be returned to your home. The padding will need to be removed and discarded so that you can dry the floors.
Dry Your Home
Once you have the water pumped out of your home, and your carpeting has been removed, you’ll be ready to dry the concrete subfloors in your home. For this portion of the process, you’ll need to bring in humidifiers and industrial fans. The humidifiers will remove mold-causing moisture from the air, while the fans thoroughly dry your home. You should run the fans and humidifiers until your home is completely dry and there are no signs of moisture.
If you’ve come home to find flood waters, you’ll need to act fast. The information provided here will help you clean your home safely and thoroughly. More about this topic can be found here.