Disaster Cleanup & Repair For Your Home
Tips for reversing the damage done to your home during a disaster
Whether you rode out the storm at home, or evacuated to a safer location, taking the first look around your damaged home can be overwhelming. In addition to the other emotions you may be feeling, you may feel daunted by the size of the task and not know where to begin.
Every home’s needs will be different, and some damage can only be repaired by professionals. But if you and your loved ones will be tackling any of the work, these tips for cleaning and repairing your home after a disaster will help you get started safely and effectively.
Clothing & Gear
Cleaning up after a disaster can mean facing a wide range of hazards, from contaminated water, to animals and insects, to splintered wood and sagging ceilings. At minimum, everyone who helps you with clean up and repair should wear:
You may also want to invest in:
In addition, many disasters have unique hazards that require specific precautions. Please consult the Emergency Resource Library for information on a particular disaster.
Basic Cleaning Supplies
Now it’s time to begin working. It’s up to you whether you prefer to start by tackling the largest issues across the entire home, or by focusing on one or two key rooms where you can make substantial progress.
You may have a lot to accomplish, so be sure to take breaks when the task seems overwhelming. Step outside, get some fresh air, and focus on the improvements you’ve already made. And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!
Water damage, such as from a flood or in the aftermath of a fire, is not just unsightly and unsanitary – it can also be dangerous. From wallboards to rugs, items that are not thoroughly dried can sprout mold and mildew.
Your first task in addressing water damage is to remove any water that remains. That means pumping out standing water and drying out waterlogged surfaces.
Be patient. Depending on the level of water damage incurred, it can take weeks or months for your home’s structural elements to be thoroughly dried. Only then should you replace drywall, carpets and other floorcoverings.