When dealing with floods you'll be more productive if you stop, sit down with the team helping you and discuss the plan and objectives. If you had more or less water, the response might be slightly different, but the basic idea is the same: use your common sense. |
If you get your house clean, habitable and get some essentials in there, it doesn't matter how long it takes to get restorers/builders in.
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.
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.
If there is potential that the floodwaters are contaminated by sewage, disinfection is recommended following cleaning of walls, hard-surfaced floors and other household surfaces to remove any bacteria and viruses. It is important that these surfaces that have been in contact with floodwaters that have been contaminated by sewage are disinfected to remove bacteria and viruses. Disinfect with a solution of 5 ml of household bleach mixed with 1 L of water.
When using a disinfectant be sure to ventilate the room by opening windows and wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves as strong solutions may irritate skin and cause respiratory symptoms.
Make a judgement on what to keep and what to dump, but remember that water gets everywhere: you will have to disassemble every/anything that was affected and check everything closely and clean thoroughly.
Make sure one of your team has a camera to document the damage and document everything you dispose of – no matter how small! This is particularly important for electronic items, and they need to photograph serial numbers, too.
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