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Cleaning Up Your Water Damaged Home

Jun 25, 2008
Floods happen almost every year in the Midwestern United States, but most people do not realize that where it can rain, it can flood. You need to be prepared to deal with the aftermath of a flood coming to your home and make sure that you know how to clean up after the damage has been done. Hiring professionals is definitely advised, since flood waters can often contain all kinds of things you do not want to come into contact with, but a lot of it can be done yourself.

One of the first things that you want to do after you get back to your home is to make sure the electricity is turned off. If you enter the home while your electricity is still on and it is still wet inside, you could become electrocuted. Have the power to your home turned off until the interior is dried out enough to where you can walk around without stepping in puddles of water.

The next thing you need to do is remove all of the furniture from the home such as couches and upholstered chairs. Most items that are bulky like this and filled with foam padding are not salvageable because of the nature of foam rubber; it is porous and likely unable to be thoroughly cleaned without a great expense. Flood waters often contain chemicals, sewage, and even sometimes dead bodies, so you can imagine what could be lurking down inside that foam padding of your favorite recliner. The best thing to do in most cases is to simply replace it.

The carpeting in your home will also likely have to be replaced, since allowing it to dry can take a while and even when it dries, you will still need to remove the padding underneath and replace it. Carpet padding, once it becomes contaminated with chemicals, sewage, or mold, cannot be cleaned at all because it will just shred if you try. You could take this as an opportunity to get a better quality of padding put under your carpet and use this time also to replace your old carpet if it was already worn out, anyway.

Any towels, clothing, or other linens that did not come into contact with the flood water are still likely to be molded if your home was flooded for more than 24 hours. This is due to the high amount of humidity present in your home and the best thing to do here is just wash these items a few times. Since your own washer may have electrical problems, you will want to do this at a friend or family member's household.
About the Author
Rachel Yoshida is a writer of many topics, visit some of her sites, like
Chicago Water Damage Restoration and Boston Water Damage Restoration .
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