Food Cleanup Tips

New England always has the potential threat for its fair share of flooding. From recent hurricanes to winter thawing has had its share of offering full support with this sort of clean up over the past few years!

Some things to keep in mind when flooding happens…

Outside – Check for building stability before entry. Sticking doors at the top may indicate a ceiling at risk of collapse. Also check the foundation for any loose or missing blocks, bricks, stone or mortar. This is a worse case scenario when major flooding occurs.

Indoors – Assess the stability of both plaster and drywall. Any bulging or swelling ceilings indicate damage that should be removed. Press upward on drywall ceilings. If nail heads appear, drywall will need to be re-nailed but can be saved. To prevent warping of wooden doors, remove and disinfect all knobs and hardware and lay flat to allow the air to completely dry the wood.

After the Flood – Insurance Tips – Take extensive photos and video for insurance claims. Only flood insurance typically covers damage from floods. Remove damaged items from your home. If you need evidence of damage save swatches of carpet, curtains, etc. for your insurance adjuster.

After the Flood – Mold and General Clean Up – Wash and disinfect all surfaces, including cupboard interiors with a solution of ½ cup bleach and two gallons of water. Remove all sliding doors and windows before cleaning and disinfecting the sliders and the tracks. Clean and disinfect concrete surfaces using a mixture of TSP (trisodium phosphate) and water. Mix according to manufacturer’s directions and apply to entire surface.Liquid cleaners can remove mud, silt and greasy deposits. Liquid detergents work on washable textiles. Use diluted bleach if item is safe for bleach. The National Archives has information online on how to clean up family treasures. Although it may be difficult to throw certain items away, especially those with sentimental value, experts recommend that if you can’t clean it, you should dispose of it, especially if it has come into contact with water that may contain sewage.

After the Flood – Home Air Quality and Mold Prevention – Clean and disinfect heating, air conditioning and ventilation ducts before use to avoid spread of airborne germs and mold spores. Use fans and sunlight to dry out interior spaces. To avoid the growth of microorganisms, household items should be dried completely before they are brought back into the house. Although the drying process can take a long time, homeowners should be patient because it is necessary to keep a home’s air quality healthy. Some household items may take longer than other to dry such as upholstered furniture and carpets. Also, be sure to remove wallpaper and coverings that came in contact with floodwaters. Don’t repaint or repair until drying is complete and humidity levels in the home have dropped.

For more information on protecting your home from flooding visit FLASH at www.flash.org or call  for full support at 203-324-6383 or email Johel Solano at [email protected]

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