After A Flood: Three Additional Cleanup And Prep Steps You Should Take

Posted on: 30 September 2015


Having your home flood can be a traumatic experience. In the months after the flooding, you'll probably work with a professional cleanup team to ensure the moisture is removed from your home and its basic structure is restored safely. It can be a relief when this process is finally over; you'll be happy to get back to ordinary life. However, once you have your home basically cleaned up and repaired, there are a few additional cleanup and preparation tasks you should undertake in order to prevent future issues.

Have your sewer lines and drains cleaned

When an area floods, it is not abnormal for the sewer lines to flood and back up. All sorts of debris, from dirt to items from people's homes, can get accidentally washed into the sewer lines and backed up into the main lines leading out of your home. These items could lead to clogs or backups in the future if you don't remove them now.

A professional sewer and drain cleaning company can come out to clean your main sewer line along with the other plumbing and drainage pipes in your home. Having your drains cleaned is important since these may have accumulated mold and bacterial growth after contaminated flood water was poured or flushed down them.

Do not assume that since you cannot smell anything in your home your sewer lines do not need cleaning. The problem could be deeper down in your sewer line, just waiting to cause a bigger issue. In some cases, your homeowner's insurance may cover the cost of having your sewer lines and drains cleaned after a flooding episode; call your company to check whether this is the case.

Have the ducts cleaned

Over the several weeks when your home was being cleaned and repaired from the flood damage, all of the moisture in your air was working its way through your heating ducts. Ducts often have dust inside of them, and this dust holds onto moisture, even after the rest of the home has been dried out. Eventually, mold may begin to grow in your moist ducts. If left unchecked, it can cause an array of allergy symptoms, from wheezing to watery eyes.

Have an HVAC professional come out to clean your ducts now, before a potential problem becomes worse. Make sure they know that your home has recently been flooded, so they can use special preparation to help fight mold growth. Cleaning ducts is not a task you should attempt to tackle yourself. Though you may be able to access some of the ducts, you won't be able to reach the deepest spots, and if you leave mold behind even in some small areas, it will just proliferate.

Have your landscaping resurfaced and adjusted

When the land around your home floods, dirt often shifts. Areas that were once higher ground may be flattened by the rushing waters, and low spots, which once provided some drainage points, may be filled in by loose soil. If you don't address these issues, they might make your home more likely to flood in the future.

Hire a landscaping professional to make sure your yard is set up to drain properly. Depending on the severity of the flooding you regularly experience, this may involve just moving some dirt around, or it may involve more extensive measures, like installing some gravel or drain tile beneath the surface.

If you complete the three tasks above after your home becomes flooded, you'll have a smaller chance of suffering from issues like mold growth, sewage backups, and poor yard drainage in the future. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure -- and in this case, these three preventative actions are certainly worthwhile.