During a natural disaster, such as a flood, it's likely you will have been required to evacuate your property. After the weather calms down, it's time to start planning the clean-up and restoration. This article covers some advice on what to think about and the equipment you may require to aid in getting your property back to the way it was.
Natural disasters and their clean-up come with a lot of risks. Being well-prepared and informed of the tools and practices to use will help to ensure you restore your property in the best and safest way possible.
Before You Begin
Before thinking about starting clean-up work you have to ensure that it is safe to do so. Changing weather conditions and flood waters can create dangerous and life-threatening scenarios. You should never re-enter an evacuated flood or storm area until you have been instructed to do so by the authorities in charge.
Health and Safety Concerns
In the wake of a severe storm and flood, there can be a wide range of health and safety hazards to contend with. Flood waters may be contaminated, sharp debris can be hidden, and electrical power lines may have been severed to name just a few. It's important to stay safe and protect yourself and your family from hazards while conducting clean-up operations. You can find more information on the best ways to stay safe on the Ministry of Civil Defence's What's The Plan, Stan? website.
How to Clean and Dry Your Property
Using the right equipment and tools can help you to dry and clean your property quickly and safely. Depending on the extent of the damage, and the design of the property, different equipment may be required. Plan and make enquiries for rentals as early as possible as rental demand will be high in the aftermath of a flood.
A generator will possibly be required to provide power in the event of mains power being unavailable through failure or for safety reasons. Generators can provide ample power to run any equipment and appliances you may require during the clean-up. They should be placed in a well-ventilated area, and should not be overloaded; plan your placement and power requirements in advance.
Battery operated lighting provides a great way to work safely when the power has been disabled or is yet to be restored. The units are easy to transport and provide ample lighting for working in all conditions with no complex cabling to worry about.
Drying out your property is the first step in any clean-up operations. Depending on the extent of the flooding you may require pumps to help remove trapped water. After the water has been removed, blowers and dehumidifiers can be used to remove any damp in the floors and walls.
When drying the property out, check for residual mud in hard to reach places. If using heaters, then limit it to one per room to prevent warping and cracking of plaster and wood. Ignore mould as this stage, as it can be cleaned after drying.
Floor strippers help you to quickly and easily remove tiles, carpet, and vinyl. If water entered the property itself, the flooring will likely need to be lifted to aid in drying and to be replaced due to damage, staining, and contamination.
Stains and residue left by flood waters can be difficult to clean from hard surfaces such as wood and concrete. A water jetter is an ideal tool for deep-cleaning these surfaces, as well as some types of furniture.
The damp and wet conditions of flooding will often result in wallpaper peeling from the walls, even if it was untouched by the flood water directly. Plan to re-paper any rooms exposed to the wet and damp. Removing heavy-weight wallpaper before using dehumidifiers and blowers will help to speed up the drying process.
After you have thoroughly dried the property, there will still be some cleaning to be done. Flooring is likely to be the worst affected area in terms of dirt and staining. Depending on the floors in the property either a carpet shampoo machine or floor scrubber (wood and concrete) can be used to perform the final cleaning.
Kennards Hire offers a wide range of equipment available for hire to help you in your post-flooding clean-up. Call your local branch to find out how we can help you find the best and quickest solution.