We live in interesting times. While some areas are experiencing record droughts; others have had record rainfall caused by new weather patterns and some of the strongest hurricanes in memory.
The usual places are still getting flooded and those families know exactly what to expect and what to do. But today thousands of new houses and neighborhoods are experiencing flooding. These homeowners are finding that cleaning up after a flood is a big challenge.
I’ve never had to clean up from a flood before!
Here are some of the places where record flooding happened in the United States in August alone:
- August 14th saw record flooding in Las Vegas, where flash floods also killed 2 people.
- West Virginia was struck with disastrous flooding on August 15th.
- On August 21-22, parts of Texas north of Dallas – Fort Worth experienced over 15 inches of rain in 24 hours.
- And America’s driest spot was not even spared when Death Valley received a year’s worth of rain in just 3 hours on August 8th.
- In each of these cases, people were left to clean up after the kind of disaster they never could have anticipated.
How to clean up from a flood
In most flood situations, water enters the structure and then leaves, often painfully slowly. Cleaning up can be a long and arduous process. If possible, calling an expert to work with your insurance company is the best approach.
Here is an outline of the work of cleaning up from a flood:
- Soak up or drain all of the standing water.
- Throw away everything ruined by the flood water. This includes most carpets and upholstered items.
- If attempting to save items, be cautious. Floodwater is never only water. It contains oils, feces and wastewater, and many other substances that don’t simply evaporate with the water. Hand wash these items with a mix of a tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.
- Check behind what you can see. Water has soaked behind baseboards and into the framing behind drywall. You will want to check all the way to the foundation.
- Clean everything with the bleach / water mix, and allow it to completely dry.
This is hard work, and it takes a long time. Through hard work and determination, you can restore your home after a flood.