After the Flood
Flood damage attacks a structure in several different ways. Floodwater damages the materials that the building is constructed of. Mud, silt, and contaminants saturate everything that floodwaters touch, creating a health hazard. And the moisture promotes the growth of mold and mildew.
Cleaning up and drying the home or business out completely to correct these 3 conditions could take several weeks. But unless done thoroughly, mold / mildew damage and odors will become long term problems.
Below are some general post-flood recovery steps and tips. Homeowners with a basic knowledge of construction or electrical repair work may be more familiar with some of these terms or descriptions. For those not so familiar, hiring a contractor is recommended.
Regardless of skill level, this information will still be useful for understanding what needs to be done, what questions to discuss with your contractor, and what jobs you might feel comfortable taking on yourself.
Steps & Tips
While working in or around the residence, follow basic health and safety precautions. Wear sturdy work shoes, pants, long-sleeve shirts, gloves and safety glasses. Assume everything touched by floodwater is contaminated and will need to be disinfected. Wash your hands frequently.
Contact your insurance adjustor. Everything will need to be documented. You will want to proceed promptly, but be sure property condition and losses are properly documented before disposing of anything. Also check with your local building inspectors regarding permits and inspections. In some areas, post-flood building inspections are mandatory.
- Flood Cleanup Tips (PDF)
- Cleaning Up After a Flood - FEMA (PDF)
- How to Disinfect a Private Well (PDF)
- Flood Recovery - Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
- Disposing of Debris - Missouri Department of Natural Resources (PDF)
- Disposing of Sandbags - Missouri Department of Natural Resources (PDF)
- Disaster Recovery Suggestions for Historic Buildings - Missouri Department of Natural Resources (PDF)