A Flood Damage Cleanup Checklist
The St. Louis area was rocked with storms in the past couple of days, with more on the way. The news highlighted massive hail, overflowing creeks and cars being swept away by flash floods. Unfortunately, this severe weather doesn’t always stay outside and flood waters can make their way into your basements and living spaces. If you suffered damage from the recent storms, don’t try to undertake the flood damage cleanup yourself. In some cases, what you don’t know can hurt you in the long run. Improperly cleaned carpets and furniture can lead to toxic mold that can make your family sick. Sometimes, floods bring in more than just rainwater; untreated sewage can be a hazardous aspect to flooding and the cleanup requires special expertise.
E&B Carpet Cleaning has a 24 hour a day emergency crew that is trained to handle these types of catastrophes quickly and efficiently, making flood damage cleanup as painless as possible. If you have been hit by flooding in the Saint Louis area due to the recent storms here is a checklist to make sure you are on your way to returning your home to its former glory.
Flood Damage Cleanup Checklist
Step One: Minimize The Damage. Determine the source of the water. There are three different types of water that can cause flood damage in your home.
- Clean water is water that originates from a source that is not harmful to humans, like a busted overhead water pipe. This water is safe to handle and you, as the homeowner, can get a jump on the cleanup efforts.
- Grey water is water that may contain some contamination, especially if ingested, but is not likely very harmful overall. This includes overflows from your dishwasher or washing machine or perhaps a sump pump failure. Some flooding from outside may fall into this category, but it is best to discuss it with a trained professional to understand the true nature of the contamination.
- The final potential source of flooding is referred to as black water. This is water that absolutely contains silt and/or organic material or possible raw sewage. Water leaks from toilets, backed-up sewers and flood waters from rivers or streams are all considered black water. All clean-up pertaining to this type of flooding requires protective gear to ensure the health and safety of those working in the area.
Step Two: If at all possible, stop the water at the source. If it is a leaky pipe or plumbing issue this can be taken care of by turning off the water. In the case of flooding, there may not be a lot you can do. Check your gutters and your drainage along your foundation to see if there is a quick fix to resolving the issue.
Step Three: Act quickly. The longer the water, or its related aftermath, sits in your home the more sustained damage it can do. Time is of the essence in these matters so it is best to get started as soon as you are aware of the issue.
Step Four: Tread lightly. Avoid walking on wet carpet as much as possible. This weight of your body pushes dirt and water back into the carpet and can cause further damage. You also run the risk of slipping and hurting yourself.
Step Five: Shut off electronics. If it is safe to do so, shut off power to the affected area and remove any electrical devices that you can. Electricity and water do not mix, so please be cautious when performing this step. Some electronics can retain a charge even when they have been unplugged so always err on the side of caution.
Step Six: Re-arrange furniture. Remove as much small furniture and small decorations from the affected area and relocate to a dry spot. Also remove any salvageable keepsake items or valuables and put them in a safe, dry and clean spot. Pin up curtains and remove any throw rugs from the flooded area.
Step Seven: Assess the damage. If you have significant water to extract from your home, don’t hesitate to call us! We will work to identify and clean any areas that may be affected, including some areas you may not have noticed. We use truck mounted extractors and high powered fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the effected area quickly and safely. Afterward, we will work to restore your carpet and any tackle any other water damage related repairs.
One final note: you should avoid using shop-vac or water safe vacuum cleaners in flooded areas if you are unsure about the safety and stability of the electricity near the flooded area. Make sure you wash your hands immediately after handling any items that have been exposed to flood waters to avoid potential contamination that can make you sick. Also avoid the temptation to turn on fans or the air conditioner to try to dry out the area yourself. If the flooding contains any black water you run the risk of spreading contamination from the flooded areas of your home to the rest of your house.
Proper flood damage clean-up is a task best left to the professionals to ensure your safety and health as well as the continued safety and cleanliness of your home. If you have experienced any flood damage to your home, Call us at E&B Carpet cleaning today.