Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. If assistance is available, knowing how to access it makes the process faster and less stressful. Before you can even enter your property to assess the damage and begin clean-up and repair, you must take steps to protect workers and volunteers who have come to help. |
It may sound extreme when we say a flood can destroy your home's foundation but it is actually very common even in moderate floods. It happens when your basement is completely or nearly full of water. When you drain the basement too quickly the pressure outside the walls will be greater than the inside of the walls.
That pressure can make your basement walls crack or even collapse. Instead, slowly pump out just two or three feet of water each day. You may want to call a flood restoration professional to pump the water out and fix your basement's drainage and waterproofing system.
Be Cautious About Hazardous Materials
Flood waters can dislodge tanks, drums, pipes, and equipment, which may contain hazardous materials such as pesticides, chemicals, or fuels.
Do not attempt to move unidentified dislodged containers without first contacting the local fire department or hazardous materials team. If you are working in potentially contaminated areas, wear appropriate protective clothing and respirators. Thoroughly wash all clothing and parts of your body that may have come in contact with sewage or other contaminants or with hazardous substances or chemicals. Use soap and clean, uncontaminated water. Use waterless sanitizers if uncontaminated water is not available. Be Cautious About Contaminated Floodwaters
Floodwaters are often contaminated with biohazards (sewage, medical waste, animal waste and carcasses) or other hazardous materials (fuels, asbestos, farm chemicals, etc.). Flood-damaged buildings may also have damp areas where molds, mildews, and other organisms thrive.
Assume that anything touched by floodwater is contaminated. If you must come in contact with flood waters or potentially contaminated locations or objects, always use appropriate personal protective equipment, including goggles, respirators, gloves, etc Make sure that all workers have current tetanus shots. Houses that have been flooded or damaged by water need special attention to avoid mold growth. Proper cleaning techniques are essential to your safety while cleaning mold, and to ensure contaminants are properly removed and will not create a hazardous environment in your home.
Repairs after a disaster should be treated like any other home renovations; you need to do some research, ensure safe practices are being followed, and check the quality of the work and compliance with codes and standards.
Ensure Fire Safety During Clean-Up and Restoration
Be sure that the sprinkler system is inspected and fully functional before beginning any welding or hot work. Be sure to follow proper controls for welding and hot work repairs. Provide at least two fire extinguishers, each with a UL rating of at least 10A, at every cleanup job. Remove combustible debris as soon as possible. Getting active as soon as possible can help restore a sense of coping and well-being. Make a list and do jobs one at a time. Establish a schedule to clean up and rebuild.
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