Heavy rain in Ohio constantly leaves many Cleveland homes with flood damage and other water related issues. While not every home had massive flood damage, it’s good to keep tabs on what your home’s status is in terms of potential water damage. Even if your home seems to be fine, there may be structural damage or bacteria from the rain water lurking around.
Not every time there’s a flood do the houses immediately need to be torn down. There are preventative measures, such as waterproofing, that can help a home before rain is even forecast. For the houses that were not prepared beforehand, here are some clean up tips to get back into proper living conditions.
If your kitchen was flooded, there is more than just structural damage to worry about. The dishes, tables, chair and so on may be contaminated by the rain water that got inside. One of the first things to do is disinfect and clean every surface in the house, starting with the kitchen. This should be done with hot water and chlorine bleach. Since there is a threat of so much outdoor bacteria getting in, windexing your counters isn’t enough to get the job done.
Anything you eat or cook with needs to be immersed in hot water and chlorine before being used to prepare or consume food. The dishes, utensils, cookware and so on should be immersed for a full 10 minutes in hot water and bleach, then air dried. Make sure the cupboards and counters are thoroughly cleaned before storing any of these items.
Any furniture, clothing, rugs and other materials should be taken outdoors as soon as possible to start to air dry. If it’s not possible to get everything out of the house, opening the windows to let in outside air and using a small air conditioner or fan directly on the affected pieces will help get the moisture out. This is to help prevent any mold or spores from forming in the material.
If any material has already been affected by mold, brush off the items outside to prevent any spores from spreading indoors. For any furniture pieces affected by mold, contact a professional cleaning service to make sure the mold is fully taken care of. Leaving anything affected by mold indoors will allow the mold to spread to other places in your home.
Basements are one of the most affected spots in the house during any flood. As soon as it’s possible, immediately pump as much water out of the basement as possible. Due to its position, a basement is the most susceptible to mold on a normal day, and flood water will only heighten the risk.
Check the walls for any cracks or deterioration after any flood. Due to gravity, there is already a lot of pressure on the walls, and the additional pressure of a flood may cause cracks. Waterproofing a basement in Cleveland is especially important, since flooding is a consistent risk in the area. Getting this done before a storm will prevent a lot of damage, but it’s not too late if you’ve already experienced the damage. Professionals can help clean up your basement and ensure you’ll be prepared for next time.
A flood can be devastating, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your home. If you’re quick and tend to the damage as soon as possible, most of the damage can be controlled and even fixed.
About the Author
By Sarah B, a resident in Ohio with a special interest in writing about various topics in home improvement.