Implement caution when first entering your home.
In case there is still standing water, it is practical to wear rubber boots and gloves. Switch the electricity off at the breaker box and get all electrical appliances and extension cords up on higher ground to dry them out. Be certain your home is structurally safe, which means looking out for broken sharp objects on the floor and anything you might trip over.
Boil all drinking water or use bottled water.
All drinking water ought to be either boiled, put through a water purifier or use bottled water. Areas that are dry but have been exposed to sewage should be thoroughly washed down using a solution of household bleach and water. We suggest a 25% bleach to water solution.
When in doubt, throw it away.
Toss out all water damaged rugs, particle board furniture, mattresses, suitcases, food, even photographs and books, and adhere to your local council guidelines for disposal. A lot of electrical appliances will not survive if they have been submerged in water. Dishwashers, refrigerators and vacuum cleaners are less expensive to replace than repair. Make use of rubber gloves and mask when cleaning loose debris, so as not to inhale any toxic particles.
Wash and dry carpet everything as much as possible.
This includes water soaked bedding, towels, drapes, cushions and clothing using the hot sanitizing cycle on your washing machine. Dry clean heat sensitive textiles. Put dishes through the dishwasher on a hot cycle.
Get rid of remaining water and dehumidify damp areas.
Clean up the last standing water with a portable submersible sump pump and a wet dry vac. Then use a high capacity, low temperature dehumidifier to take care of the rest. It is important to open windows and ventilate rather than turn on the heat high [about 50°F] in the house or use fans. Simply turning the heat on, is an invitation to grow mold spores and spread them through out the house. Do not try to dry out the house too hurriedly. If you do, this will cause wood floors to warp or buckle.
Clean all surfaces thoroughly.
Wash down all surfaces, such walls, cabinets, basement floors; including those which were not in direct flood contact, with your bleach solution. Then wipe down with clear water. Using a vapor steam cleaner on all surfaces to disinfect is an even better solution.
Check for interior and structural damage.
Remove dry wall up to and 2 feet above flood levels on walls and remove insulation that came in contact with flood waters. It is imperative to do this if you want to avoid future mold problems. We have heard too many horror stories from people whose houses became infested with toxic mold – so it is not worth taking a chance and skipping this step. Replace hardwood flooring; especially all sub floors if they have been flood soaked. Keep ventilating with fresh air until the house is completely dry. Have the duct work professionally cleaned after the house has dried out.
Inspect all electrical and plumbing systems.
Have a professional inspect both your electrical systems and appliances. Additionally, replace all filters and switches. Check your furnace, as a burnout of the motor may be imminent. Be certain all plumbing and / or toilet facilities are working.
In any case, call Flood Auckland on 09-489 5599.
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