If you have experienced any water accumulation in your home, it is important to remember that not all water damage is visible. Since flood water may contain bacteria that can cause serious illnesses, it is vital to clean and disinfect everything that may have been contaminated.
To ensure that your home and personal belongings are as clean and safe as possible, please follow these simple, but important, cleaning tips:
- Act quickly to avoid mildew and odor.
- Remove all loose dirt and debris.
- Use a chlorine bleach disinfecting solution (3/4 cup of household liquid bleach to 1 gallon of water) to wash any walls, floors, or other surfaces touched by flood waters.
- Keep area wet for 2 minutes (2 to 10 minutes for exterior areas), then rinse thoroughly and dry.
Be sure to clean and disinfect all contaminated surfaces, both interior and exterior.
- Interior: walls, counters and floors.
- Exterior: outdoor furniture, patios, decks and playground equipment.
- Kitchen Items: dishes, glassware and utensils.
Don't forget about clothing. You can also remove mildew and germs from clothing by washing them with chlorine bleach.
- Check clothing labels to make sure they are machine washable and colorfast.
- For a standard-size washing machine, use one cup chlorine bleach per load to disinfect clothing and remove odors.
When using a disinfecting solution to clean up after a flood, ALWAYS remember to:
- Wear gloves and protective clothing. Do not touch your face or eyes.
- Change the disinfecting solution often and whenever it is cloudy.
- Be thorough. Wash and dry everything well.
- Only use regular chlorine bleach for sanitation; do not use scented or color safe bleach.