priorities will vary depending upon the kind and seriousness
of damage to your home. But assuming major concerns such as
structural safety, basement flooding, and electrical and water
systems have been addressed, clean-up can begin inside.
cleaning your furnishings as soon as possible. Your aim should
be to thoroughly dry and clean the house before trying to
live in it or have permanent repairs made. Early efforts should
include taking furniture, rugs, bedding and clothing outside
to dry and prevent mildew.
begin clean-up, focus on accomplishing the most important
tasks first. Resist over-exerting yourself.
special attention to cleaning children's toys, cribs, playpens
and play equipment. Boil any items a toddler or baby might
put in his or her mouth. Discard stuffed toys, water-logged
toys and non-cleanable items.
chemicals used for disinfecting and poisons used for insect
and rodent control out of children's reach.
protective clothing on legs, arms, feet and hands while
cleaning up debris.
exposed skin frequently in purified water. Wear rubber gloves
to protect against contamination and skin irritation.
using a pump-up garden sprayer or hose to remove layers
of mud from hard surfaces.
with a household cleaner/detergent solution and a brush
to remove remaining surface oil. Rinse with clean water.
with a disinfectant, such as chlorine bleach, pine oil or
a phenolic product, such as Lysol. Remember, a product is
considered to be a "disinfectant" only if it is
labeled as such. Rinse well.
items thoroughly to prevent mildew growth.
dishes, cooking utensils and food preparation areas before
using them (see fact sheet, "Disinfecting Dishes, Cookware
off mold and mildew growth on household items outdoors to
prevent scattering of spores in the house.
floors, ceilings and walls to remove mildew. Then wash surfaces
with a detergent/household cleaner and water solution.
mildew-stained areas with a cloth dampened with a solution
of 1 cup of chlorine bleach or rubbing or denatured alcohol
to 1 gallon water. Pine-based or phenolic products also
an air conditioner, dehumidifier or heater, if available,
to remove moisture. Use fans to circulate air and open all
on electric lights in closets and leave doors open to dry
the dampness and humidity.
with a fungicide or other mildew preventive product. Read
and follow instructions and precautions on product label.
Your county family living agent, your local emergency government office, the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency
"Repairing Your Flooded Home," the American Red Cross/Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1992.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in
NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder.