August 16, 2017
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have taken a toll on businesses in several states. Though the immediate danger is over, businesses still have a long road ahead of them. Flooding can wreak havoc on a building, and the cleanup process may unfold over a matter of weeks. Follow these tips to clean up safely after a flood:
- Determine Safety Conditions
Before beginning the cleaning process, make sure your business is safe to enter. Water from severe storms can wreak havoc on a structure, as well as the inside environment. Flood waters often contain contaminants, especially if sewers back up. Your carpeting, furniture, appliances, and even foundation may be compromised. Work with a professional company to determine what can be cleaned, and what needs to be replaced.
- Tackle the Big Jobs
First, break out the shovels and clear out as much contaminated mud as possible. Always wear waterproof boots and appropriate safety gear when working with potentially contaminated materials. Once you shovel away all the extra mud, use a garden hose to wash away the mud from your hard surfaces.
If your basement is full of water, pump out 2 to 3 feet of water each day. Any more will create unequal pressure that could compromise the health of your structure.
- Assess Your Wall Boards and Ceilings.
Contaminated flood waters can create a permanent health hazard within your walls. Hire a contractor to remove all wallboards, plaster, and paneling to the flood level. For clean rainwater, cutting out 12 inch sections can help allow for faster drying. You may have to replace your fiberglass matting if it’s muddy, but styrofoam insulation will only require a good hose-off.
Flood cleaning is a long and involved process, but it’s essential in protecting the health of your employees and patrons. Learn more about your next steps in the second part of our series.
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