What to Do After a Flood: Your Essential Guide

Floods and plumbing disasters can cause a tremendous amount of damage to residential properties, especially if remedial action is not swiftly taken. In our blog post today, we will cover the key steps you need to take, including tips for effective flood damage cleaning in the home.


Initial Steps to Take Immediately After a Flood

When people ask us what to do after a flood, what they want to know is how to stop their property from being damaged any more than strictly necessary and how to recover quickly. In our experience, you can minimise damage and maximise your chances of quickly restoring your home to its former state by following these steps:

  • Turn off the Power – The first thing you should do after a flood is disconnect the electricity supply. However, you should only attempt to do this if you know what you are doing and sure it is safe to proceed.
  • Document Initial Damage – Assuming you have coverage, you will need to document the damage your property has sustained before you begin the flood cleanup process.
  • Call Your Insurer – Armed with plenty of evidence, you can get in touch with your insurer and start the claims process, including photos to strengthen your claim.
  • Contact Your Local Flood Damage Cleanup Specialists – A firm experienced in water damage cleanup procedures could help you recover much faster than would otherwise be possible.

If you decide to tackle the flood cleanup work yourself rather than hiring a team of professionals, please refer to our tips below.


Standard Practices for Dealing with Flooded Properties

Contaminated Water Decontamination

1. Dispose of Absorbent Items

It is not possible to fully eliminate pathogens from absorbent items, so these should be identified, documented, photographed, and disposed of properly. This documentation will be helpful for validating insurance claims.

2. Multi-Clean Process

To effectively remove soil, silt, and other contaminants, these materials must first be mobilised and suspended. Simply applying a sanitising solution to contaminated surfaces will not address the contamination.

Re-flood the area using a hose or buckets of clean water.

Scrub the area with a brush.

Remove the resulting slurry with a wet vacuum.

Repeat these steps until all contaminants are removed.

3. Clean Non-Absorbent Items

Wash or wipe down all non-absorbent items thoroughly.

4. Sanitise After Cleaning

Once solids are removed, treat the area with a sanitising or disinfectant solution to kill any remaining bacteria.

5. Decontaminate Tools and Equipment

Unclean tools can harbor bacteria, which will multiply and turn the tools into health hazards, particularly in warm environments. Ensure all tools and equipment are thoroughly decontaminated.

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Hand Hygiene

Always wear appropriate PPE and maintain it well.

Wash hands thoroughly before eating, smoking, drinking, or any other activities to avoid accidental ingestion of bacteria and to prevent spreading contaminants to surfaces such as steering wheels.

After thorough cleaning and disinfection, you can begin the drying process.


Tips for Effective Water Damage Clean Up

We’ve established that the more effectively you clean up after a flood, the more likely it is you will be able to restore your home to its former state. Whether you hire local experts to help or tackle the job yourself, you can accelerate the restoration process by:

  • Removing Affected Items
  • Eliminating Excess Water
  • Increasing Airflow

By including the above steps in your flood damage cleaning plan, you will speed up the drying process and therefore the entire restoration process.


Preventing Mould After Flood Damage

The key to preventing mould and mildew after a flood is to ensure all excess moisture has been removed. This starts with the elimination of excess water (i.e. moisture in liquid form) and continues with the use of industrial dehumidifiers. If you decide to hire a flood cleanup specialist, they will take care of all this for you. Mould prevention is crucial as mould spores represent a real health threat.


When to Call Professionals for Water Damage

The best time to call for professional help is the moment the flooding has receded and you can access your property. Your local flood damage restoration specialists can achieve more if you call them in at the earliest possible opportunity. If you’re concerned about mould as well, and you live in our service area, you can take advantage of our moisture measurement and mould removal services as well.