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Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States, however not all floods are alike. Some develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes. Additionally, floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states. Even if you feel you live in a community with a low risk of flooding, remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.
The following methods are recommended for clean up in homes where small areas (less than 10 sq.ft.) of water damage or mold growth have occurred due to flooding, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, or poor ventilation.
You must first eliminate or correct the water problems or leaks associated with any existing source of water damage or mold growth. In case of floods, it may be necessary to pump the basement dry and to clean out the remaining debris.
Carpets, rugs, furniture, and any other porous material that cannot be laundered must be discarded if not thoroughly dried within 24 hours. Soiled curtains, clothes, linens, and any other items that can be laundered should be removed and cleaned. All other porous items should be discarded. Dark stained ceiling tiles or wall board should be removed. Any items or materials that are being removed or discarded should be placed into garbage bags before being removed from the area.
Sometimes the power goes out after a flood. Some people may use generators to generate electricity during flood cleanup. The exhaust from a portable generator could cause serious health effect, possibly death if you breathe it in. Use portable generators OUTSIDE only and far away form buildings.