After the Flood –What next?
We’ve all read about the recent flooding throughout the country and the difficulties it has caused so many families and businesses.
As in all these matters, safety is the primary concern. Accidents in the home due to electrical faults or road traffic accidents due to dangerous road conditions can easily occur, so due to this take extra caution is needed when floods occur to avoid accidents and personal injury*.
The task of cleaning up after a flood can be a very daunting experience so we have put together some useful post flooding tips for you:
- Make sure gas and electricity are switched off, be sure to keep in touch with the electricity and Gas suppliers to avoid accidents
- Temporary repairs to the roof are matters for the experts, ladders present a very real challenge to the uninitiated and falls can cause serious and long term injuries
- Look at the ceiling for any signs of cracks or bulges – you do not want the ceiling coming in on top of you causing a head injury
- Do not enter the building if there is a large amount of sediment either side as the structure may be unstable which could lead to a building’s stability being compromised and injury
- Remove all items from the water as soon as possible and wear a protective mask – standing water is a breeding place for microorganisms which can be a health hazard if inhaled
- Record the damage on camera/camcorder
- Mark water levels on the walls
- Check if your insurance covers the cost of clearing up cleaning and sanitising after a flood.
- Seek approval from your insurance company before any work is carried out.
- Make sure you use a reputable tradesman
- Collect all receipts for emergency work
- Surfaces should be scrubbed with hot soapy water and heavy duty detergent.
- Place any soft furnishings which have been damaged by floodwater into bin liners
- Allow all cleaned surfaces to dry out completely as germs can thrive in wet conditions.
Drying out a property – Dos and Don’ts!
- Open Doors and windows to allow air to circulate through your home
- Unblock airbricks and vents
- Wash and disinfect your hands if you have come in contact with water directly
- Check external walls and roof for structural damage before entering premises.
- Don’t run electricity and gas until they have been checked by a professional
- Don’t eat any food which has come into contact with floodwater
- Start at the attic and work your way down through the building
- Make sure any moisture trapped within the structure is removed
- Consider the use of dehumidifiers
- Keep your eye out for cracks in walls as bricks can shrink and crack as they dry
- Wait until brickwork is completely dry before you repaint
- If floor joists show signs of rot, replace them and treat surrounding areas to prevent the rot spreading
- Clean all windows and oil locks and hinges to prevent corrosion
- Check condition of putty on windows to ensure they are secure
- Some windows may swell, do not force them open as this will cause further damage. Swelling will reduce during drying period
- Insulation which has become wet must be removed and replaced.
- Do not redecorate until at least three months after the walls have dried as doing this too soon can result in blistering, mould or peeling.
- If replastering, use tanking as this is more resilient to floodwater
All in all, it’s been a tough time for all those affected by the recent rain and storms. Let’s hope we have a break from these challenges in the coming months.