Evaluating appliance damage is a high priority after a flood.
Have a service person check flooded appliances before you
attempt operation or invest a lot of time in clean-up.
which furniture to save may be a more personal issue, especially
if you have antiques and other pieces with sentimental value.
Keep in mind that you don't need to repair all pieces of salvageable
furniture immediately. You can clean, dry and store them in
a warm, well-ventilated place until you have time to deal
entering a home after a flood, be sure that the electricity
to the dwelling has been completely shut off. (See the fact
sheet, "Electrical Systems and Appliances.") Appliances
should not be operated until they have been checked by service
are some things that may need to be done:
motors may need to be reconditioned or replaced.
and fixtures need to be checked and cleaned. They may also
cleaning and sanitizing an appliance, be sure the motor
is in safe working order. It may not be worth the time to
clean up the unit.
rust inhibitor may need to be applied to all metal parts.
Even though an appliance may not have been submerged, rust
can develop from dampness in the air.
the refrigerator or freezer if water has seeped in. Be sure
the motor and freezing unit are in safe working order and
insulation is not wet. Wet insulation means replacement may
and wash all shelves, crispers and ice trays. Wash thoroughly
with water and detergent. Rinse with a disinfectant solution.
the interior of the refrigerator, including the door and
door gasket, with hot water and baking soda. Rinse with
a disinfectant solution.
the door open for about 15 minutes to allow free air circulation.
odor remains, place several pieces of activated charcoal
in an open metal container, or use a commercial refrigerator
the outside with a mild detergent and hot water.
washers and dryers have been reconditioned, sanitize them
a disinfectant (chlorine, pine oil or phenolic) into the
empty washing machine. Then complete a 15-minute cycle at
the "hot" water setting.
the dryer and wipe the drum and door with a cloth dipped
in disinfectant solution. Rinse with a cloth dipped in clear
the dryer door open until all parts are thoroughly dry -
starting to salvage damaged furniture, decide which pieces
are worth restoring. Such decisions should be based on: the
extent of damage, cost of the article, sentimental value and
cost of restoration. Antiques are probably worth the time,
effort and expense of restoration. Unless damage is severe,
you may be able to clean and refinish antiques at home.
try to force open swollen wooden doors and drawers. Instead,
take off the back of the piece of furniture to let the air
circulate. You probably will be able to open the drawers
after they dry.
wood furniture can usually be restored, unless damage is
severe. It probably will need to be cleaned, dried and re-glued.
Wood alcohol or turpentine applied with a cotton ball may
remove white mildew spots on wood. Cream wood restorers
with lanolin will help restore good wooden furniture parts.
veneered furniture is usually not worth the cost and effort
of repair, unless it is very valuable. If veneer is loose
in just a few places, you may be able to glue it adequately.
furniture soaks up contaminants from floodwaters and should
be cleaned only by a professional. Get a cost estimate to
see if furniture is worth saving. Usually, flood-soaked
upholstered pieces should be thrown away unless they are
antiques or quite valuable.
Your county family living agent, your local emergency government office, the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency
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