Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Recovering From A Flood: 5 Tips For Beginning Cleanup At Your Home

When nature decides a flood is going to happen, there is nothing anyone can do about it. Flood damage can happen to any homeowner no matter how “prepared” that home might be. Some floods can be localized to just one home or facility when a pipe bursts or other issues occur. No matter how flood damages happen, recovering can be difficult.  However, with a few helpful tips, the cleanup process can be a bit easier.

Safety Comes First

The first step in preparing to recover from flood damage is to have the proper equipment. Needed equipment includes: a face mask, rubber gloves, safety glasses, hand soap, clean water. When a flood happens, all water can become contaminated. Contaminated water can be categorized in the same category as sewage water. The face mask, safety glasses, hand soap and clean water help ensure if you come in contact with contaminated water you can immediately wash it off.


The next step in recovery from a flood is the actual cleaning stage. Equipment needed for this stage of the recovery process includes: large tubs that can be lined with garbage bags, a working washing machine, a clean space to store your belongings, and a digital camera to take pictures of damaged items. Large tubs should be lined with garbage bags to transport salvageable items. The garbage bags help ensure the tubs will not become contaminated while the items are in transport. Everything that can be put in a washing machine should be washed. After items have been washed, they should be stored in a clean, non-contaminated place until all cleanup efforts have taken place.

Focus On Timing

It is imperative not to rush back to your home to start immediate cleanup efforts as soon as you think the flood is over. The first thing to do is watch news reports to know for sure the flood is completely over and it is safe to return to your home. Cleaning the home before the flood is over will do nothing more than make the job twice as difficult.

Plan Where To Start

The easiest place to start a cleanup effort is with linens and clothing. All linens and clothing that are salvageable should be properly laundered and stored before starting on other bigger items that take up more space. Once linens and clothing have been cleaned up, soft furnishings, beds, and other furnishing items can be cleaned up.


Once all personal belongings are out of the home, the sanitizing phase begins. Anti-bacterial detergent should be used to scrub the floors and walls of the home to get rid of all germs that the contaminated water brought into the home. Pressure washers are also a good cleaning item to use to help ensure every nook and cranny gets clean.

Personal safety is imperative when recovering from a flood. After personal safety steps have been taken, the cleanup phase starts. Recovering from a flood is never easy, but by being organized during the cleanup phase, the recovery can be a bit easier.

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