Special Problems You Encounter When Your Home Is Damaged By Dirty Floodwater

Cleaning up water damage after a flood is entirely different than restoring water damage after a plumbing break. That's because water from a plumbing line is clean and water from a flood is contaminated. Here are some problems you'll run into when the flood waters recede and you start the cleanup process.

Removing Mud And Debris

Flood water leaves a mess behind. It carries all sorts of debris into your house. You can expect to find mud or silt on your floors and lining the walls. There could even be dead fish, trash, leaves, and twigs strewn around. All this debris has to be removed, which can be difficult if things are caked with mud. Because of damage from mud, you may need to cut out drywall and flooring that could otherwise have been saved.

Encountering Displaced Wildlife

A flood disrupts the land surrounding your house and causes wildlife to scatter. Water may carry snakes and fire ants into your house. Other creatures may enter your house in search of shelter and a place to get out of the water. You'll need to be alert for the presence of dangerous wildlife when you enter your home after a flood, especially if there is still standing water you walk through as you assess the damage.

Cleaning Contaminated Surfaces

You'll have to treat your home as if it's contaminated because flood water is dirty water. It harbors bacteria and other microorganisms. Their numbers may multiply when the water is trapped inside a warm, humid house. Also, on the way inside your house, the flood water picks up chemical contaminants such as motor oil or lawn fertilizer. This leaves a toxic mess behind on your belongings. Add to that the presence of mold that begins to grow due to the increased humidity inside your house. You may need to bring in professionals to clean up the mess just to stay safe. If you clean it yourself, be sure to wear protective clothing and a mask. You'll need to wash down all the surfaces the water touched. Keep in mind, water may have gone under the floor and between walls. Contamination is what makes cleaning up after a flood such a big job that's difficult to do on your own.

Restoring your home after a flood could take weeks or even longer if you try to do it yourself. You may have difficulty finding family and friends to help if their homes were affected too. In addition to cleaning, you'll need to move around furniture, rip out drywall and flooring, dry out your home with fans. It's labor intensive work that carries the danger of exposing yourself to dangerous mold, germs, and chemicals. For that reason, it's a good idea to bring in a crew of professionals to help restore the water damage in your home. The work will be done safely and quickly with the help of commercial equipment and a skilled water restoration crew.