Don’t be in a massive rush to rip into the clean up. I’ve always found when dealing with floods – whether it’s one house or 1000 – you’ll be more productive if you stop, sit down with the team helping you and discuss the plan and objectives. I’m going to pretend the water was 1m deep and go from there. If you had more or less water, the response might be slightly different, but the basic idea is the same: use your common sense. Remove all clothing items and linen, stuff it into bags or put it in plastic tubs/lined boxes. Call a friend and put them on washing duty – this means everything, even shoes. |
Wash them thoroughly and dry them out, as you can then make an assessment as to whether they are salvageable. If you leave them dirty, you don’t have a choice – they will be ruined. A good option is to wash everything twice, but the second time ‘round, use an anti-microbial in the rinse cycle. You can then be sure there will be nothing to fear lurking in the fabrics. While your friend is washing clothing, remove any soft furnishings, furniture, carpet, underlay, beds and the like. Soft furnishings are anything porous or which can soak up water. Unfortunately for the kids, their soft toys and pillows, cushions and the like are all ruined. The only thing to do with that stuff is to dump it – sorry kids. For the time being, dump it on your footpath as the council will do curb-side collection – in some cases with a front-end loader! At the same time as stuff is being dumped on the footpath have someone pack up the house. And that means everything, the whole house, from CDs to crockery, to china dolls to cutlery. Pack everything (and I stress, everything) into plastic storage tubs/lined boxes and give them to a friend. Tell this friend to take care of your worldly belongings, but “scrub the bejesus out of them”. I’d scrub everything by hand, with brushes and detergent. Goods should be rinsed with an anti-microbial solution if possible and run everything that will fit through the dishwasher – it’s already been in practically sewerage, so going through a good scrub is not going to make it worse, just sanitary.
Be careful with items that are not suitable for high temperate or scrubbing eg. CD’s and DVD’s – these are generally not affected by water and only require a gentle wash and rinse with anti-microbial. Electronics are beyond the scope of my tips here. At this time, I’d assume everything electronic is ruined and dump it. This applies to appliances as well – everything from the fridge, to oven and cooktop, washing machine dryer and that nice new TV. Sorry, but it’s probably all stuffed. That’s belongings and contents (electronics and furniture) taken care of. The house should have no carpets or anything like that left, and this includes removing fake timber floors and the like. Now, it is onto the house itself.
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