If you have recently experienced flooding from a nearby river or stream, and water has made its way into your basement, you will need to take steps to remove it promptly to minimize damage to your personal belongings and home's structure. When working with flood water, precautions need to be taken as bacteria is often present in the liquid you are removing. Here are some steps to follow when doing a flood clean up on your own in an attempt to avoid illness and the spread of mold.
Wear The Proper Clothing
Since bacteria can cause rashes and respiratory problems, the clothing you wear should be protective. You do not want any of the moisture getting on your skin, in your eyes, or in your mouth. Wear waders to cover your legs in their entirety. A long-sleeved shirt and waterproof gloves will protect your upper body. If you are fearful water will saturate your shirt, opt for a wet suit instead of plain material. Make sure your face is protected with goggles and a respirator as well.
Place The Water Outdoors
Do not pour the water down a drain, as it will fill your septic tank with unnecessary bacteria. This could alter the matter in your septic, causing it to become thick and hard to pump to the leachfield. Instead, divert the water outdoors to an area lower than your foundation. Make sure it is far enough away from your home that it will not make its way back inside. If you use a water pump, direct the hose to this area. If you are using buckets, be careful not to spill any of the water as you make your way outdoors. Fill buckets a bit lower than the top rim to help prevent this from happening.
Take Care Of Personal Items
Bring salvageable items outdoors to dry in the sun if possible. Turn pieces of furniture upside-down so water will drip out of cracks and crevices. Clean the surface of each piece with a detergent that includes bleach, as this will help stop mold from occurring. Wash fabric items in hot water and use your dryer on a heated setting rather than allowing them to air dry. Throw away paper items, plastic toys, and food, as they are not salvageable or safe to keep.
Remove Items That Attract Mold
After you remove water and dry the interior of the area, a deep cleaning will need to be done. Every surface touched by the flood water needs to be wiped down with a mold killing agent. Remove any carpeting as the pad underneath is prone to mold growth. A carpet can be professionally cleaned to remove any mold spores that may have embedded themselves into the fibers. Cut any saturated drywall out of the basement completely and dispose of it. The insulation underneath will also need to be thrown away. Dry out the walls using a heater for a day or two before installing new insulation and drywall.
For professional assistance, contact a company like Servicemaster Of Martinsburg & Hagerstown.