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A Common Sense Look At Saving Possessions After A Flood

Dec 16, 2007
You may not be very sure what you can save after a flood wreaks havoc on the interior and exterior of your home, but there are some definite things that you can save and things that you will have to throw away.

Certain items that have been soaked in dirty flood water for many hours will probably not be salvageable. Wooden shutters, aluminum, wooden blinds, things made of vinyl, and etcetera can usually not be saved. Metal items will corrode and wooden items tend to warp over time, since it is porous and soaks up water easily.

Any pillows that were in the flood water need to be thrown out, since it will be hard to get rid of all the dirt from the material. It will also be difficult to completely disinfect them.

When you purchase a disinfectant, you should make sure that it is approved by the EPA and that it has a registration number somewhere on the label. This will assure you that the cleaner meets the EPA's requirements. Having the correct disinfectant for the task at hand is also important. Some disinfectants are only effective on hard surfaces.

Before you begin washing your clothing and other fabrics, you should make sure that the water is safe to use and it not contaminated. If the tap water is safe to drink, it is safe to wash your clothes in. You also might want to make an effort to sanitize your washing machine before you use it. You can do this by running some detergent and bleach through the washer using the most water it can handle.

You can use a water hose to get rid of mud and dirt that is still on the floors of your home and on the furniture. Dried mud and dirt can be scraped and shaken off of most textiles.

When you are dealing with water damaged furniture, you have only a few options. If flood water reached the fabric, it may be stained and if they were in the water for more than a few hours, the silt and dirt that was in the water probably got through both the fabric and the padding.

Unfortunately, padding will retain water and allow mold to grow. The majority of the time, your best bet will be to simply discard the upholstered furniture altogether. Restoring this furniture will mean stripping everything down to the frame.

If water gets through the finish on some wood items, it will mildew and the joints in the wooden frame of the item may also become loose.

Mattresses or box springs can be saved if they have come into contact with only a minimum of clean flood water (such as broken water pipes), but mattresses that have been come into contact with dirty flood waters cannot be due to the biological and chemical hazards that exist in them.

You should not use a mattress that has a musty odor after it dries, since this means that mold is present. Have this item sanitized by a professional.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of
New York Water Damage Restoration and
Miami Florida water damage restoration Which are Certified IICRC Water damage and mold remediation contractors.
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