Inspect for structural and electrical damage from outside to determine if it is safe to enter. Electrical safety is extremely important in floods. Check for fire hazards and gas leaks. Use battery-powered light sources. Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia or vinegar. Wear sturdy shoes, rubber gloves, and eye protection. Be watchful for fire ants, snakes, or other animals. If mold is present, wear a respirator that can filter spores. First Steps Flood Cleanup and the Air in Your Home - irces.com Ft Myer VA 22211 Make sure that everyone is out of danger of new flood crests, fire, and falling buildings. Assume flood water and flooded materials are contaminated. 1. Flood Insurance Claims If you have flood insurance, contact your insurance adjuster immediately. Begin cleanup, salvage, and drying as soon as possible. Do not wait for adjuster. Take photos for use as an inventory. All steps suggested on this page can be taken before an adjuster arrives. Ft Myer VA 22211 Clean house so the adjuster can see the damage. Keep damaged materials for proof of loss. Leave a phone number where you can be reached when the adjuster arrives. The adjuster will assess damages to the house. The owner should sign a proof of loss statement. Additional damage can be added when found. Contact governmental offices for information. If you do not have flood insurance, your homeowner’s insurance likely will not cover Servpro Residential Cleaning and Restoration Services Ft Myer VA 22211 the loss. If the flood has been declared a federal disaster by the President, apply for assistance online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. 2. Electrical Systems Be sure all electric and gas services are turned off before entering the premises for the first time. Have an electrician check for grounds and other unsafe conditions before reconnecting the system. 3. Food and Water Ft Myer VA 22211 Sanitation Until your local water company, utility, or public health department declares your water source safe, purify your water, not only for drinking and cooking, but also for washing any part of the body or dishes. Water: Strain water through a clean cloth or filter; then boil water vigorously for a full minute; let cool. If boiling is not possible, use fresh unscented liquid chlorine bleach (8 drops or 1/8 tsp/gallon of Ft Myer VA 22211 clear water; 16 drops or 1/4 tsp/gallon of cloudy water); stir; let stand 30 minutes. Iodine and purification tablets are not recommended. Food: Undamaged, commercially-prepared foods in all-metal cans or retort pouches can be saved if you remove the labels, thoroughly wash the cans, rinse them, and then disinfect them with a sanitizing solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of potable water. Finally, re-label containers that had the labels Ft Myer VA 22211 removed, including the expiration date, with a marker. Utensils: Discard flood-contaminated wooden cutting boards and spoons, plastic utensils, baby bottles, nipples, and pacifiers. Thoroughly wash metal and ceramic pans, utensils, and dishes with hot soapy water and sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tsp chlorine bleach/quart water. 4. Furnishings and Carpets Remove all furniture, bedding, and carpeting to outdoors Ft Myer VA 22211 to be cleaned and dried (or discarded). Flooded carpets and rugs are best replaced since flood water may contain contaminants. Flooded carpet pads should always be discarded and replaced. Remove water-logged rugs, carpets, and pads within 48 hours after flooding subsides. If salvage is attempted, spread out rugs and carpets outdoors. Hose off. If soiled, professionally clean or work in carpet shampoo with a broom. Rinse well with a solution of 1 Ft Myer VA 22211 gallon water and 2 tablespoons liquid household chlorine bleach to sanitize (if colorfast). If carpet is wool, do not add bleach. Dry the carpet and subfloor thoroughly as quickly as possible. If carpet is installed damp, it can mildew. Carpet might shrink, but a professional may be able to stretch it. All upholstered furniture and mattresses contaminated by flood water should be discarded. If an upholstered furniture piece is valuable, the stuffing Ft Myer VA 22211 and upholstering will need to be replaced. Solid wood, metal and plastic furniture may be cleaned and restored. Hose off any mud, clean, sanitize and let dry completely out of direct sunlight. 5. Walls Remove water from the structure as rapidly as possible. Ventilate. Remove baseboards, and cut holes in wallboard to drain uninsulated walls. Remove the interior surface of insulated walls to a point above water height. Discard flooded drywall. Undamaged Ft Myer VA 22211 paneling may be propped open or reinstalled after cleaning. Remove and discard all wet fibrous insulation. Clean out mud. Wall studs and plates may be sprayed with disinfectant (1 cup bleach/gallon water) to kill any existing mold and fungi. Speed dry with dehumidifiers and fans. Leave walls open until they have thoroughly dried, which may take up to a month. Select replacement materials that will withstand future floods (such as rigid foam Ft Myer VA 22211 insulation, removable wainscoting, ceramic tile, etc.). Next Steps Long-term flooding or wetness is likely to ruin most interior finishes and contents, but the next steps may be possible when flooding is short term and cleanup begins promptly. Delay permanent repairs until the building is thoroughly dry, which may take weeks. 1. Subfloors Layers of submerged plywood or OSB subfloors will likely separate or swell. Affected sections must be replaced to keep the Ft Myer VA 22211 new floor covering from buckling. When floor coverings are removed, allow the subflooring to dry thoroughly, which may take months without a dehumidifier. Check for warping before installing new flooring. 2. Wood Floors Carefully remove a board every few feet to reduce buckling caused by swelling. If boards are tongue-and-grooved, consult a carpenter or flooring professional. Clean and dry the floor thoroughly, which may take weeks, before replacing boards and attempting repairs. Ft Myer VA 22211 3. Tile and Sheet Flooring If a submerged wood subfloor swells or separates, flooring will need to be removed. (Asbestos tiles should be removed only by a trained professional.) If the subflooring is concrete, removal of the floor covering will hasten drying of the slab, but it might not be necessary if it would ruin an otherwise unharmed material. If water has seeped under loose sections of sheet flooring, remove the entire Ft Myer VA 22211 sheet. Ease of flooring removal depends on the type of material and adhesive. Contact a reputable dealer to find out what product and technique (if any) will loosen the adhesive. 4. Cleaning Wall Finishes, Woodwork, & Floors To reduce mold and damage, clean and dry as soon as flood waters recede. Do not sand or scrape lead-based paint. Get more information before disturbing old paint. If materials are already moldy before you Ft Myer VA 22211 can begin cleanup, get more information on avoiding mold hazards and recommended removal methods from http://www.epa.gov/mold recovery publications. Use a phosphate-free, all-purpose, or disinfecting cleaner. Wash from top to bottom. Rinse with clean water. One-half cup of household chlorine bleach to a gallon of water can be used on nonmetallic, colorfast surfaces as a disinfectant (to kill surface mold and bacteria) after cleaning, but it will not prevent new mold growth on Ft Myer VA 22211 materials that stay damp. Dry thoroughly and quickly. If the utilities are on, use the air conditioning or heater, fans, and a dehumidifier or desiccants to speed drying. 5. Appliances and Equipment 6. Furniture Take furniture outdoors to clean. Brush off mud. All parts (drawers, doors, etc.) should be removed. Remove or cut a hole in the back to push out stuck drawers and doors. Discard flooded padding. Use commercial furniture-cleaning products Ft Myer VA 22211 designed for the type of material. Do not refinish or wax until thoroughly dry. Dry slowly out of direct sunlight because sun will warp furniture. It may take several weeks to several months to dry. 7. Preventing Mold Aggressively control mold in the weeks and months after the flood. When power is available, continuously use air conditioning (or heat in winter) plus a dehumidifier, if possible, to remove humidity. In an unair-conditioned Ft Myer VA 22211 home, open windows and use fans to circulate air. Turn on electric lights in closets, and leave doors open to facilitate drying. Try to reduce activities that add moisture to the indoor air, and use exhaust fans when cooking and bathing. 8. Removing Mildew from Household Articles and Upholstery Avoid disturbing and spreading mold spores indoors. Clean mildewed items outdoors. Learn and take precautions to minimize exposure to mold. Visit http://www.epa.gov/iaq. Use Ft Myer VA 22211 a HEPA vacuum, if available, to remove visible mold growth. Discard the vacuum bag. Otherwise, wipe with damp paper towels, discard, and seal in plastic bags. Dry items in the sun, if possible. Sponge any remaining mildew with thick suds or a commercial cleaner designed for the type of material. Wipe with a clean, barely damp cloth. Wipe mildew-stained areas with a cloth dampened with diluted alcohol (1 cup rubbing or denatured Ft Myer VA 22211 alcohol to 1 cup water). Dry thoroughly. Additional Sources:
If you have experienced flooding you will be well advised to contract the services of a professional flood cleanup contractor to carry out your water damage cleanup or your basement flood cleanup. When it comes to water damage, you might already know that it can do a significant amount of damage in a very short amount of time. Seeking professional help as soon as you can will often mean the difference between thousands When You Need to Call a Water Damage Restoration Company Ft Myer VA 22211 of Dollars in additional expenses that a flood cleanup contractor can help you avoid. Water damage cleanup is more of a science than just simply pumping water out and allowing everything to dry. There are so many things to worry about in the form of moisture damage, mold damage, dangers of electrocution, dangers related to natural gas leaks etc that it is better for a homeowner to hire a professional basement flood cleanup Ft Myer VA 22211 company to carry out the work. Before you do, make sure that you take some of the following steps yourself to minimize or contain the damage.
- If you have not identified the source of water, it could be from a burst pipe that cannot be spotted easily. Your best bet in this case would be to shut off the water supply to stop the leak.
- Assess the damage to see if it is Flood Cleanup: Why You Need a Professional to Treat Water Damage Ft Myer VA 22211 something that you can manage on your own. Generally, if there was enough water to stagnate, it would be better to call a professional company as the basement flood cleanup will require heavy equipment such as dehumidifiers, blowers and water extraction units that you will not have.
- Open up the windows, door and try to get some air circulation going to minimize damage from moisture. Moisture can easily be absorbed by various construction Ft Myer VA 22211 materials such as drywall, ceilings and even by furniture
- Turn off the electricity in the house or cut off power supply to the affected area as there is a serious risk of electrocution during a water damage cleanup if the electricity is left on.
- If you are carrying out a basement flood cleanup, you will first have to turn off the natural gas supply as dangerous gases can leak from pipes that might Ft Myer VA 22211 have broken from the increased water pressure.
A professional flood cleanup contractor will first inspect your house to give you a broad picture about the extent of damage. They will be able to tell you about what can be salvaged or restored and what will have to be discarded and replaced. A professional flood cleanup company will possess several commercial grade blowers, humidifiers and water extraction units that will be very expensive to buy Ft Myer VA 22211 or rent on your own. A cleanup company will ideally have several of these machines and they might use several drying units at once depending on the extent of damage in your house. When you hire a professional flood cleanup company, you can be assured that the work is being carried out by people who know exactly what they are doing, which might not be the case when you attempt to do the Ft Myer VA 22211 water damage cleanup on your own.