Whether a hurricane has passed you by, or a local water main just burst, a flood can cause a tremendous amount of water damage. While calling a professional, like Edmonton Remediation Pros, can be very helpful for a major disaster, there are some steps you can take on your own to help get things dried out and cleaned up.
Turn Off The Power
Even if the power is currently out due to other damage or a storm, you should immediately shut the main power off. At least shut the breakers for the flooded area (probably the basement). With all that water, there is serious risk of shocks if any electricity is involved.
Move What You Can
Try to salvage as many movable items as you can. Yes, things are already wet but the longer you leave them, the more deeply soaked they will get. Something that is wet for only a short time will dry with less structural damage (especially fabric and paper items), so start getting things out of the water and moved up to drier rooms.
Pump It Out
After that, the next thing you need to do is to clear out all the water. As long as there is still standing water in the home, there is no point moving forward with any other cleaning steps. An electrical pump can be a vital tool, but in many flooding disasters there will be no power to run it. If you do you have power in the other parts of the house, use a heavy-duty extension cord to get the pump going in the flooded areas. A garden hose can be used to direct the water out the window or doorways.
If there is no electricity to be had, you’ll have to start bailing. Just use a bucket or even a large pitcher to start scooping and pouring.
Dry It Out
Now comes the job of actually getting things dried out. Even if there is no more standing water, you should still leave the electricity off in the affected area, since there is still a shock risk due to moisture in the walls and fixtures. Stick to extension cords to power as many fans and dehumidifiers as you can get. Open up any windows as well to let air and moisture out.
Deal With Drywall
Drywall (or sheet rock) is a notorious substance for soaking up water and being nearly impossible to dry out quickly. If the walls in the flooded area are drywall, you may have to tear out the wet sections and replace it. It will also depend on the nature of the flood. A simple flood of “clean” water, like rain runoff or a water pipe bursting won’t bring as much contamination into the house. In that case, you can see how well the walls dry out. They may be treatable with disinfectant (see our next tip)
But if it’s been a much wider disaster, there is a good chance the water is contaminated with sewage and will bring a lot of filth into the house. If that is the case, you probably shouldn’t risk mold in the drywall and it should be pulled out right away.
And speaking of contamination, after things are somewhat dried out, you should treat remaining surfaces with disinfectant to prevent the inevitable mold bloom that is likely to come. Use bleach or TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) to sanitize what you can.
After everything has been dried and cleaned, watch for mold growth and disinfect again if necessary.