Fast, First Steps for Flood Clean Up
First, if you landed at this post, know that we extend our sympathies. A house flood is no fun. It can even cause you to loose income through missed work. We would like to help you clean up fast with some clear steps to take right away. And right away is the key. Mold and bacteria grow quickly. If you cannot get your carpet, flooring, upholstered furniture, curtains and more drying within 24 hours, chances are it will not be able to be saved.
- Call in reinforcements. You can call a remediation company, of course, but if you are determined to get this done without an outside service, get help. Asking for just one hour of time makes the process easy on you and on those coming to help. Anyone can do any kind of work for one hour. Plus, often they will stay for more than an hour! Doing this by yourself is next to impossible.
- Remove any standing water. Use a wet-vac or the equipment a remediation company offers to remove as much of the water as possible. You can rent a wet-vac at many locations throughout San Diego.
If any water is around a pool pump or fuse boxes or electric circuitry, trained electricians workers MUST check and clear the space first. They will be wearing rubber boots and gloves to protect themselves.
- Remove any furniture, upholstery, curtains and pillows to get at all affected carpet or flooring. Place these items in a garage or driveway so they can begin to dry.
- Bring in the dehumidifiers and fans. San Diegans do not use dehumidifiers as much as those in Northern California or the east coast, so we do not typically have them handy. Still, several local companies will rent you dehumidifiers along with big fans and other flood restoration equipment. Get as much air movement as possible over damp areas.
- Now, the hard part. Remove baseboards and moldings from wet walls, especially if your walls are sheetrock. All the fan power in the world will not help the bottom of the walls if the baseboards are blocking it.
- Cut a square from the bottom of the wall about every 18 inches in order to allow air to get behind the wall. Best to dry both sides of the sheetrock and allow air to reach the studs as well.
- If you see any mold start to grow on hard surfaces, immediately clean with detergent. Use the least amount of water as possible to boost the impact of the detergent. .
If in Doubt, Throw These Out
Hopefully, you and your volunteers have moved all furniture, curtains, pillows and more to a dry area. Now your job is to keep an eye on these items over the next few days to gauge whether they can be salvaged.
- Carpet, carpet padding, and rugs
- Upholstered furniture
- Computers, microwaves, window A/C units, or any appliances that have fans that were sitting in moldy rooms
- Papers and books
- Food items, including canned foods if they were in contact with flood waters
Avoid Floods with Perry Plumbing’s Warranty Service Household Inspection Program. Call us for details.
If you have never had a household flood, make sure to keep it that way by becoming aware of the primary flood perpetrators in our blog post, “San Diego Flood Awareness 101.” A plumbing inspection can go a long way in making sure your lawn drains are clear, you water heater is in good shape and you do not have any slow leaks throughout your system. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our screened and thoroughly trained San Diego plumbers. Better yet, take advantage of our plumbing repair discounts.
Family owned and operated Perry Plumbing has been serving San Diego business and homeowners for over 30 years. Check out our 5 Star ratings on Google Plus, Yelp, Angie’s List and others.