After a flood, your first concern should be the safety of you and your family above all possessions that went through some sort of flood damage. Follow these directions to ensure that all items are carefully evaluated, cleaned, or discarded according to safe practices.
You certainly don't want to throw out something valuable only to
discover later that it may have been saved. Here are a few pointers on
what may or may not be able to withstand water and flood damage. Keep in
mind that this applies only to clean water situations; anything
contaminated by sewage or chemicals should be thrown out.
these items may be successfully salvaged, while others may have to be
discarded and replaced. The question is, which is which?
Your first step should include discarding of flood-damaged items
that cannot be salvaged. Usually these items are things that are not
able to be restored to a usable condition, or items that have become
unsafe for use.
Immediately discard any fruits, vegetables, meat,
or eggs that have come in any kind of contact with contaminated flood
water. Flood water contains waste and germs, and consuming the
contaminated water can cause severe sickness for you and your family.
will also need to discard any items in soft packaging, such as
cardboard or paper. Glass bottles, such as beer bottles, also need to be
thrown away; as well as any other bottles with twist-on caps. With
these items, it is very possible for flood water to seep in.
away any canned goods that have obvious flood damage to the outside of
the can. This includes dents or leaks. If the can is in decent
condition, you can remove the paper label, rinse the can, and then
sanitize the outside with a sanitizing product. Do not attempt to
salvage the food products if they have been completely submerged in
flood water, even if there is no obvious damage to the packaging.
Remove ceiling tiles and wallpaper if they show signs of flood damage.
You will also want to immediately clean the floors and if they cannot
be thoroughly cleaned, replace them. In severe situations, you may need
to replace the drywall in your home, since this is another part of the
house that is likely to harbor mold.
Dispose of children's toys
that cannot be completely sanitized. You do not want children coming in
contact with articles that underwent flood damage. You may also want to
get rid of clothing that cannot be quickly washed in hot soapy water.
rid of any items that have rust forming. If any items have not been
thoroughly air dried within two days, they should also be discarded.
This is the time when mold and mildew start to form. You may also want
to get rid of any furniture with upholstery if you are not able to get
it professionally cleaned right away.
If you are unable to
restore or salvage any items, throw them away. It is best to choose to
discard items if you are on the fence about what to do with them. You do
not want to risk putting yourself or loved ones in danger. Flood damage
can cause one to lose many valuable belongings and documents, so be
sure to follow steps to prevent your items from becoming damaged by
flood and contaminated water. In some cases, this tragedy is not
preventable - so follow safe clean-up and discarding practices.