During a flood, water leaves its normal course and washes over land, and may come into contact with farmyards, manure, garbage, overflowing septic systems and other sources of contamination and disease. Flood waters can become heavily contaminated and can make people sick. |
You should not live in a home that has been flooded until clean-up is finished, a supply of safe water is available, and proper disposal of human waste and garbage has been arranged.
It is important to remember that floodwaters are usually very dirty and items that have come into contact with flood water should be handled properly. Appropriate cleaning must be done with care to ensure the safety of affected home
Considerations in Cleaning After Flood
All movable furnishings should be taken outside. Upholstered furniture that has come in contact with water should be left outside to dry completely. Direct sunlight can be a strong disinfectant however, additional cleaning maybe necessary. Thoroughly scrub and clean all surfaces and floors with hot water and detergent as soon as possible after the water has gone down. Clean all woodwork with soap and water.
After cleaning surfaces, wash these with a sanitizing solution. The solution can be made by mixing 500g of chlorinated lime in 25 to 40 litres of water (1 pound of chlorinated lime in 6 to 10 gallons). Household laundry bleaches containing 5 to 6 percent sodium hypochlorite may also be used; information will be included on the label. Mix 1 litre of household bleach in 25 litres of water (1 quart of household bleach in 6 to 10 gallons of water). Be sure to wear protective gloves, eye protection, and boots, as strong solutions may irritate skin and eyes and cause respiratory symptoms. Clothing that has been worn while cleaning should be washed separately in hot water and detergent.
All standing water in flooded basements should be disinfected, but remember to wait until the flood waters have left the surrounding ground. Measure 2 liters of household bleach and distribute it evenly over any standing water. Stir the bleach and water together as much as possible. Repeat this every 4 to 5 days for as long as the water remains. When pumping basements, do not pump the area too quickly as water in the surrounding soil may cause the collapse of basement walls and/or uplifting of basement floors.
Once the water has been removed from the basement, remove all the silt and mud right away. You may need to use a hose, buckets of water, and rough scrubbing. Remove all items that have come into contact with the flood water including furniture, carpet, toys, clothing and other items. Open all windows to help with drying and apply heat using a furnace or stove if possible. Disinfect all surfaces exposed to flood waters by brushing on a sanitizing solution.
All sheds, garages and other buildings where goods are stored need to be cleaned and disinfected. In particular, utensils and containers used to prepare, preserve or store food need to be washed well and soaked in a chlorine solution.
For more information about clean-up after a flood, please contact the environmental health officer at your local public health unit and let professional flood restoration service assist you also in cleaning up for utmost safety.
Refer to Auckland Flood Restoration for them to do the timely reliable service that you need
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