How Does A Cleaning Company Clean After A Flood Or Water Damage?

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Dealing with the aftermaths of a flood or water damage can be difficult. You need to get your property back to livable standards. A cleaning company can help you here, but they will still need your support. Knowing how a cleaning company cleans after a flood or water damage is highly useful.

Here you can read up on safety considerations when cleaning after water damage and steps for cleaning and disinfection after a flood. You can also learn how cleaning companies can help.

Safety Tips When Cleaning Flood and Water Damage

After a flood or water damage, your first instinct may be to start cleaning. However, it would help if you first protect yourself from potential hazards and health risks. It would be best to consider that the structure may be unsafe and there may be contaminants in the water.

Consequently, you should take the following steps for safety reasons:

  • Shut off the power and electricity to flooded areas before entering them.
  • Wear protective clothing such as waterproof boots, rubber gloves, and long pants.
  • Turn off the gas supply before you enter the house.
  • Check the building's foundation structure for cracks and instability.

Besides safety, before cleaning, you should take the following steps to save you some headaches later.

  • Take pictures or record videos to help with insurance claims and tax deductions.
  • Note down all expenses.
  • Find out what other requirements you need for a claim from your insurance company.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Products

Remember to carefully read the labels of cleaning products for usage instructions.

  • Using powdered or liquid cleaners is more practical than using aerosol products.
  • Household ammonia and trisodium phosphate are great for cleaning hard surfaces. This includes walls, tiles, and linoleum floors.
  • Liquid household cleaners are effective if you want to remove mud and silt.
  • You can use diluted chlorine bleach to clean carpets and furniture and disinfect toys.
  • An important precaution is to avoid mixing chlorine bleach and ammonia. The fumes are toxic.

How to Clean After a Flood or Water Damage

You can use the following cleaning steps after a flood or water damage:

Remove standing water

At the start, you should concentrate on removing standing water. You may make use of pails or pumps. After that, you can use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to vacuum.

Discard contaminated materials

You may have to sort out items that have suffered too much water damage and dispose of them. This includes furniture and carpets. Get plastic garbage bags and remove soaked contaminated materials. You can tag them and dispose of them following local regulations.

Get rid of mud and silt

An important part of the cleanup process is to shovel out mud and silt. Do this before the mud and silt dry up. You may need a hose for this task.

Clean and dry the walls

Walls need proper cleaning and drying after being exposed to flood water. Likewise, you need to clean, disinfect, and refinish solid wood trim and wall finishes if you want to salvage them. However, you may need to discard most paneling.

Hose down walls to remove mud before they dry. Then rinse the walls. After that, you can clean and disinfect them. Chlorine bleach is great for this purpose. But avoid mixing bleach with ammonia.

Scrub floors and woodwork

Promptly use a stiff brush to scrub floors and woodwork. This will help prevent mildew. Washing soda or tri-sodium phosphate is a useful cleaning product for scrubbing mildew-stained floors.

Air dry surfaces

Again, it is important you quickly dry and remove contaminated materials. This helps prevent mold growth and further biological contamination. Turn on and circulate heat to quicken the drying process. Note that total drying time can depend on the building materials and the duration of flooding.

Clean soiled fabrics

Liquid detergents are quite effective at cleaning off clay and ground in dirt. You can use them to prewash fabrics in cool water. Remember to check the wash machine instruction manual for steps to set it for an automatic prewash cycle. Be sure not to overload the washer. Use small loads with full water levels.

Steps for Handling Mold Growth

Air out your property

You may switch on the power and turn on your air conditioner. You can also turn on fans or dehumidifiers. This helps the air to circulate and remove excess moisture. However, if there’s no power, open your doors and windows to improve airflow.

Monitor moisture levels

You should know that even if your walls and floors are dry to the touch, they may still be prone to mold and bacteria growth. A moisture meter or humidity meter can help you monitor the moisture level. A humidity level of around 30 to 50 percent is enough to inhibit mold growth.

Get rid of debris

  • As always, you should protect yourself before starting to remove contaminated debris. Wear protective gear and respirators.
  • Use rakes or shovels to get rid of debris.
  • Deposit debris in a safe location and at some distance from your property.
  • You can discard damaged carpets and furniture that you can’t clean and dry within 24 to 48 hours after the flood.

Remove damaged drywall sections

You may need to hire an experienced contractor to remove large sections of drywall that have suffered water damage. It’s not just about removing drywall; you may also have to remove damp insulation and safely dispose of them.

Check and remove flooring

Moisture and silt can collect beneath seemingly dry flooring. This creates an environment that is conducive for mold or bacteria to grow. As such, you need to check them and remove them properly. Everything should be clean and dry before you install new flooring.

Clean countertops and appliances

You can clean most nonporous surfaces with five gallons of water and one cup of bleach. These surfaces include the metal on appliances. After that, you can rinse or wipe the surfaces and allow them to air dry.

Steps for Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Use household cleaners to clean off dirt.
  • Use disinfectants to eliminate microorganisms, bacteria, and germs.
  • You can use bleach to clean surfaces and disinfect clothing contaminated with sewage.

Tips for Flood Damage Restoration

The following are cleaning tips for flood cleanup and flood damage restoration:

  • First, you can turn off all water sources if they contribute to the flooding.
  • If possible, you can start the water removal process.
  • Use buckets, mops, and towels to remove water, dirt, and debris.
  • Use pumps or wet/dry vacuums for water removal.
  • You can utilize a pry bar to remove drywall and pull up carpets.
  • Cleaning and disinfection can be done using household cleaners such as bleach.
  • Remember to document damages. This can help you process insurance claims.
  • A flood cleanup crew can help you with physical flood cleanup processes.

How Cleaning Companies Can Help You

There’s so much to do after a flood or water damage; cleaning your home or property is just a part. This is not the time to try a DIY cleaning or restoration because of the attendant health risks. Rather, you should hire highly trained cleanup companies. Here are some services they can help you with:

Hire a Cleaning Company for Flood Cleanups

This blog post has discussed how a cleaning company cleans after a flood. You already know that cleaning your home or property needs to be done carefully. Besides, ensuring you followed the proper cleaning, removal, disposal, and restoration processes would be best. That is why you should invite a cleaning company for flood cleanups.

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