When water damage comes after a flood, it’s easy to understand why a thorough, immediate clean-up job is required. However, even if the source of the “flood” is a broken dishwasher, it must be thoroughly cleaned and properly dried to prevent further, more serious problems in your home. Every year, many Toronto homeowners deal with excess water in their homes from flood conditions, broken appliances and damaged pipes. Whether it’s a little water or a lot, thorough cleaning can save your home from mould, mildew and structural damage.
Remove all water as quickly as possible
If you plan to salvage any furniture or fixtures from the damaging long-term effects of water exposure, you need to act fast. It’s easier to save the carpet that has a little bit of water on it than it is to rescue one that has been completely soaked. Get it out of the affected area as soon as possible to start the drying process.
When you have removed as much water as possible with buckets and mops, bring out fans and dehumidifiers to continue drying the area. Remember, water and electricity don’t mix! If you have any reason to suspect that electrical outlets were waterlogged, do NOT plug any of these drying appliances until you have confirmed it is safe to do so with an electrician.
Mould loves the moist environment of a home after a flood. It can cause severe breathing problems in those with diminished respiratory capacity. Even people who are relatively healthy can be negatively affected by the high levels of mould that can follow a flood. The first 36-48 hours after a flooding event in your home are critical to keeping your home as safe as possible.
Once the area is dry, and all visible water has been removed, the work of mould prevention can begin. Use a solution of one part bleach to ten parts water to wash any non-porous surfaces. When you think an item or surface has been thoroughly cleaned, give it another round of scrubbing just to be sure. When it comes to cleaning up after a flood, there is no such thing as too much disinfectant. Use it liberally. Consider removing baseboards and punching small holes into drywall to allow air to circulate behind the walls.
If there has been any sign of mould growth, consider engaging the services of an environmental remediation company. A process like dry ice blasting, which uses tiny projectiles at high speeds to clean even the smallest of spaces, can ensure that any harmful contaminants that have started to develop are literally blasted away.
It’s a lot of work to clean up after a flood in your house, but making sure it’s done right the first time will save the trouble of addressing a much more serious problem further down the road. If it is too much to take on yourself, the services of a company skilled in flood recovery are always an option.
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