Over the past couple of weeks thousands of people have been affected by the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie in Queensland and the Far North Coast of NSW.
The images on the news and social media does not even come close to giving an idea of what it is actually like for people that have been inundated with water. There is the loss of personal property, sentimental items, loss of pets and livestock and of course damage to their homes.
For a lot of people the job of cleaning up this mess has well and truly begun and will continue for many weeks. Not all home owners are covered for flood and may not be able to afford to get the experts in to restore their home.
If you’re able to act quickly, you can minimize the damage and possibly save some of your possessions. Some of your success depends on how long the water’s been around, there might be pieces of furniture that can be saved, and sometimes, even carpet, but any electronics hit by water are probably doomed.
Don’t treat flood water in unwanted places lightly: even if a room only has an inch of water in it, or is even just damp, it is the perfect breeding ground for mould. Mould growth not only ruins walls, furniture, carpets, flooring, etc., it can lead to poor indoor air quality causing respiratory problems including asthma, and can lead to severe illness.
I’ve compiled a few tips if you ever find yourself in this situation due to flood waters.
*If you have insurance, call your Insurance Company Immediately
*Disconnect the power, unplug any electronics, and remove electronics, furniture and movable items immediately. The faster you get items out of water’s way, the more likely you’ll be able to save them. To avoid trapping moisture inside the home, everything that is wet and able to be moved should be taken outside
to dry (assuming weather permits).
* Wear gloves and covered footwear when cleaning up and treat any cuts with antiseptic.
*Get rid of the water. There are several ways to get rid of the water. If you don’t have power, or are worried about loose wires, the old-fashioned, manual way will work. Use old towels, buckets, brooms and mops to soak up or push out as much water as possible.
*Dry out the affected area. **This part is much easier to achieve if you call a professional restoration company such as Ulysses Total Cleaning, who will be able to set up the necessary equipment to get the room dry.** If this is not an option, Once you’ve mopped up all the water, use fans and the airconditioner to help dry out the area. If it’s stopped raining, open windows to allow for air circulation and faster drying. You want to dry the area out as soon as possible.
I hope these tips are helpful, but remember water and mud can be trapped inside of wall cavities and may be hidden from sight, only a professional restoration company with trained staff can assess for trapped water damage and perform thorough drying of walls and floors. This is imperative for the prevention of further damage and mould growth. Wherever possible call in the experts.