Safety Tips for DIY Flood Cleanup

DIY flood cleanup is a controversial subject. Letting flood waters stagnate leads to more problems down the line. However, DIY flood cleanup can be risky. Follow these safety tips to stay safe while you clean your building.

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Assemble all supplies first

Before you get into DIY flood cleanup, gather all your supplies. You want to keep as much of the water and related supplies in one area as you can. If you have to leave the flood site to search for other equipment you could be tracking water, dirt, and worse through the rest of the building. Gather your supplies, from trash bags to buckets to mops, before you begin.

Make sure you have your safety equipment as well. You don’t want to find out too late that you should have worn a face mask. Do a pre-work check with every worker and all of the equipment. Then you know that you’re ready to go.

Dress appropriately

DIY flood cleanup is heavy work. It can be tempting to dress for comfort rather than safety. Though hauling water and mopping up the area is hard work, you should still be fully clothed. Closed toed shoes are a much. Rubberized boots are better than sneakers. Wear long pants and long sleeves, in order to expose a minimum amount of skin to the water. Long pants and sleeves will also help protect you in the event of stumbles and scratches. It can be hard to see things beneath the surface of standing water, so it’s better to stay protected.

In addition to your regular clothes, make sure that you have enough gloves and face masks for everyone. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Flood waters can be tainted with chemicals or debris. Breathing through a mask protects your respiratory system from any fumes. It can also prevent water splashes from landing in your mouth. Yuck!

Turn off the power

Before you enter a flooded room, turn off the power in that room. During a flood it can be hard to tell what’s lurking under the water. Plugging something into a live, waterlogged outlet poses a serious risk to the building and to you. When you reach the stage of cleanup where a fan or dehumidifier would be helpful, carefully use extension cords to power your appliances.

Know the limits of DIY

Getting on top of flood damage as soon as it happens can greatly reduce the scope of water damage restoration. However, some floods are beyond the scope of DIY. If you know or suspect that the flood is mixed with raw sewage, don’t attempt to clean it yourself. The health risks outweigh the rewards of DIY flood cleanup. Extensive flood damage carries significant risks as well, and you may want to call a restoration

Always remember, you should only tackle DIY flood cleanup with a safety first attitude. Before you even start working make sure that you have everything you need. Dress for safety over style. Turn off the power to the affected areas just to be certain. Finally, know that when a flood is too much to handle, a restoration team is a better option that DIY.

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