Living in a flood-prone area like South Florida or even a city like New Orleans that is below sea level means that people should understand how to approach clean up after such a disaster.
It is important to move quickly so that the home’s structure is not damaged and that personal belongings are saved. Waiting too long could not only damage one’s property but also prove harmful thanks to mold growth, bacteria and debris, and mud that have come into the home. Even a couple of inches of water can prove disastrous.
Get Rid of the Mud
It is important to get rid of the mud and any debris that has come into the home. This could mean shoveling out the dirt or using a hose to spray away mud from the home’s surfaces. Dirt should be brushed off or wiped off of furniture, paperwork, and all possessions too. After the mud is removed, water can be tackled.
Work on Water Removal
Getting rid of water is easier said than done. The liquid can sink into furniture and the home’s walls. All furniture should be placed outside to dry out and it will help to have a dehumidifier and air conditioner to remove moisture. A home owner should open all windows and doors to air the house out. Vacuums can be used to remove dirt and mildew from everything from the floor to the ceiling. Items like mattresses and blankets should be thrown away. Professionals can handle getting water out of floorboards and furniture since they have the equipment and know-how for this.
Photographs and important paperwork can be saved and cleaned. It’s important that all mud is taken off of the documents, they are placed in plastic bags, and that they are then put into a freezer. The paperwork will then be safe from mildew, can be thawed, and then cleaned. Professionals understand how to work with even the most damaged of documents to clean and restore them.
It is important to really disinfect all surfaces to prevent mildew and mold from growing. This means wiping down all surfaces, ceilings, walls, counter tops, and shelves with heavy-duty cleaning materials. Home owners should take the time to inspect hard-to-reach sections of the home as well as places like under sinks and carpets.
Report Everything to Your Insurance Company
It is important to always communicate with one’s insurance company. This of course can only happen if a home owner has property, possession, or home insurance. This is a chance to find out what will be covered and what will not. Home owners should take the time to list all damage and to take photographs and videos. Complete record keeping is important so that home owners can be rewarded money for damages and cleaning. This can also help if a person applies for government or disaster assistance programs.
Inspect Appliances and All Electrical and Central A/C Systems
All electrical items need to be turned off and looked out. Professional cleaning is suggested because the common home owner could be hurt when working with these appliances or could end up breaking them. Similarly, the electrical system in a home need to dry out to protect the home from harm, and the heating and cooling systems should be inspected. It is important to be smart about this because damaged wiring and heating and cooling systems can be incredibly costly to repair.
I live in south Louisiana and, thankfully, my area was not badly hit by Isaac, but I feel for the people of Plaquemines Parish as well as anyone who has ever been through such a disaster. I wish everyone would read this article. You make excellent points and these are things that everyone should know, but, sadly, so many people don’t know where to begin when faced with the aftermath of a flood.
Really useful article!
Been recently search for many resources about cleaning ac units and I really find your post as one of the best. Really useful info and solid idea however, I would like to stress on something.
Yes it is important to do documentation like taking pictures on the unit as long as it is still covered by your insurance or warrantee. A little tip on cleaning the AC filter, use a mild detergent to easily wash the mud/dust/dirt.. You can use a hand sprayer for this too! That is if you don’t have a compressor to use. Yup and it’s working for me.
Reynald (from Saint Paul, Minneapolis)
This is a great tip, thanks! Reynald, would you be interested in contributing a guest post on behalf of Guest Post Twin Cities?
Thanks for the good informative review. There are several pointers that are important to keep in mind when you are getting your window air conditioner out and ready for the hot weather. The first one is to inspect it to see if you need to perform any cleaning of vents or other maintenance on it before testing it to see if it is ready to be used. Be sure to disconnect the power before you work on it. A properly working in wall air conditioner will be clean and in good repair with no bugs or debris inside. There are some of the different things to check for in wall air conditioner maintenance, beginning with the fan and motor to see if they are clean and operational. If they need to be tightened or lubricated do so now. Check to see if the thermostat is operating correctly.
Good to hear the two cents of other reputable HVAC professionals. Would you like to be a regular contributor for our blog? We love offering new and different perspectives to our customers for AC and air duct maintenance.