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Following any type of flood or water damage, it is essential that you begin to dry and clean the affected area as quickly as possible to prevent having to deal with mold and mildew later. Be sure to exercise extreme caution when entering your home. If water is standing inside it is prudent to wear protective clothing such as gloves and rubber boots. Turn off the electricity at the breaker box and get all electrical appliances and cords to dry ground. Keep an eye out for sharp objects on the floor and for anything else that is out of place, which may cause an injury.

The general rule of thumb with flood damage is ‘if in doubt, throw it out’. Discard water soaked carpeting and rugs, furniture made of particle board, wet mattresses, food, photos and books. Once these items have been soaked or left standing in water, it is impossible to dry them thoroughly.

You will need to buy or rent a sump pump right away. You can easily find these at most large hardware stores as well as at rental companies. A sump pump can be either electrically driven or powered via a portable generator. Get busy pumping the standing water out of your home. Once you have removed the majority of the water you will need to use a shop vac to suck up what remains. The next order of business is to use a high capacity, low temperature dehumidifier. Open the windows for ventilation and resist the temptation to turn up the heat because mold and mildew will quickly begin to grow in the warm and moist environment.

As soon as possible, wash water-soaked bedding, draperies, towels and clothing using hot water and a high quality detergent. For more delicate materials such as linens you will have to have them professionally dry cleaned if you plan on keeping them. Wet leather will never return to normal so be prepared to throw out boots and leather jackets that have been water damaged.

If the damage was extensive, consider staying with friends or relatives while the flood damage is being dealt with. It does require a lot of work to restore your home to its former condition following flood damage. However, with the correct equipment and a bit of elbow grease you can rest assured that your home will be back to normal in just a couple of days.

Updated: November 3, 2010 — 7:31 pm
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