A slow-moving storm system can drop a surprising amount of rain in your area. Drainage systems may become overwhelmed quickly, which causes water to back up and cause flooding. If you live near a river or lake, the water may overflow the banks and compound the flooding situation. Depending on the severity of the flood, your home may be affected with standing water for a number of days. Even if water drains out fairly quickly, it can leave behind a lot of damage in its wake. Here are some things to know about cleaning up floodwater and its after-effects in your home.

Floodwater Can Be Toxic

The unfortunate side effect of water from a flood as opposed to water damage from a broken water pipe is that floodwater is contaminated. It can be toxic enough to cause illness and even death if it causes an infection in an open cut. Water that rises from rivers or the city's drainage system contains toxic chemicals, viruses, and germs. There may be sewage mixed in with the water. The toxins can irritate your respiratory system if you inhale them. They can irritate your skin if you come in contact with the water. The microbes can cause blood infections or intestinal problems if they get inside your body. For that reason, you need to wear protective gear when you enter your home after a flood. You must also treat all the surfaces in your home and all your wet belongings as infected and dangerous to touch with bare hands.

You May Be Without Power After A Flood

Most of the equipment you need to dry out your home needs a power source. This includes water extractors and fans. If the power is out for days due to the storm, you may need to rely on using mops to move water out of your home. You might also use a generator, which poses dangers of its own. Carbon monoxide from a gas generator can kill you if you use the generator in an enclosed space. If you bring in generators for a power source, then be sure you understand how to use them safely. An alternative is to hire a contractor with a truck-mounted extractor with its own power source to pull water out of your home.

The Structure Of Your Home Should Be Dried Thoroughly

While you'll be anxious to start on the restoration of your home, the first step is to remove all porous material that was in contact with floodwater and dispose of it. Since floodwater is contaminated, it usually isn't worth the effort to try and save things like carpet and upholstered furniture. Anything you do save needs to be disinfected before it can be restored. Removing all wet and damp items from your home also helps to lower humidity, which will help control mold. Once all the destroyed material is taken from the home, the structure of your house must dry out. This could involve using fans and dehumidifiers. If the wall studs and floor joists are damp, they will grow mold and possibly succumb to rot. Therefore, the structure of your home must be completely dry before restoration work can proceed.

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