Tips To Help You Clean Your Home After A Flood

When a flood disaster occurs near your home and its interior, clean-up can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, with the right information, tools, and a rented dumpster, you can complete most or all the work yourself to restore your home back to its former condition. Here are some tips to help you with this clean-up and remediation process.

Dispose of Moisture-Damaged Items

You can rent a roll-off cleanup dumpster for any items you will be discarding, as that can include carpeting and padding, drywall, insulation batting, upholstered furniture, and paper. A roll-off dumpster is available through many local waste management businesses and from disaster clean-up organizations.

Carpet and padding are usually difficult to dry out within this time frame and are hard to clean off any mold growth, so they should be discarded. Once drywall has become water damaged, its plaster-based materials break down and it is hard to dry it out thoroughly. Batting insulation contains pockets of air that give it its insulating property, and when it becomes wet it is no longer functional for its intended purposes and should be discarded.

You will need to determine which items can be salvaged and which need to be discarded. If there are items in your home that have begun to grow mold that you cannot clean, discard them in your dumpster for removal.

Keep in mind when you are discarding any items already containing mold growth that you will need to seal the item to prevent it from spreading mold spores after it has been discarded into the dumpster. Bag up moldy items with large heavy-duty trash bags and seal them off with zip-ties or duct tape or wrap them in plastic and sealed with tape.

Overall, ensure you're allowed to dispose of items in your rented dumpster before doing so. Certain items need to be disposed of in specific ways, and you can't simply throw everything in one bin. Talk with the company you rented from to find out what you can dispose of in their dumpsters.

Clean Up Mold

Any water-damaged or moldy items in your home that can be washed in hot water and dried out thoroughly within 24 to 48 hours can usually be saved. Clothing, bedding, and other fabrics in your home that have become water damaged should be washed in hot water in your washing machine and dried completely in the dryer or outside on a clothes line within two days.

To clean items with mold growth, it is best to use a cleaning solution of one cup of bleach for every one gallon of water. Be sure to wear protective rubber gloves, a respirator mask, goggles, and water-resistant foot wear to protect you from any mold. Wipe off the mold with the solution and a disposable rag or scrub brush, then allow the surface to dry.

If you need to clean up any mold that covers an area ten square feet or larger, it is recommended to hire a professional mold remediation company who will remove and dispose of the mold growth properly. Otherwise, you can remove moldy drywall, insulation, flooring, and other materials by cutting it out with a utility knife, bagging it up with plastic, and discarding it.

Circulate Air

Another important part of cleaning up after a flood is to get the air circulating inside your home to enable the drying-out process. You can rent or borrow some industrial-sized or window box fans and set them up through rooms of your home to circulate air. A rented dehumidifier can help pull moisture from the air inside your home.

If the outside air has low humidity levels, opening your home's windows can help speed up the drying process. You can also turn on your home's heating system to help eliminate moisture from your home.