In the aftermath of a flood, houses are susceptible to multiple risks. Whether it’s bacteria, mold, electricity, or rapid streams — all pose a danger to your health and the security of the occupants. Here are the most common hazards following a house flood, and tips to avoid them:
Diseases and Infections
- Diseases can be contracted by eating or drinking contaminated products. Floodwaters can directly infect food with bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella, or indirectly during a power surge. There’s also the possibility of wound infection when coming in contact with floodwater.
- Food that has come in direct contact with floodwater, including brewed beverages and products in jars, should be lost. Intact, canned goods may be washed and disinfected.
- Perishable foods like eggs or meat, which have been abandoned at over five degrees Celsius for more than four weeks, should also be discarded.
- All medicines, makeup, and other toiletries that have touched floodwater have to be thrown away.
- Those who’ve made contact with floodwater should practice decent hygiene — wash hands frequently with soap and water.
- Individuals who have an open wound ought to cover it with a waterproof bandage and prevent exposure to floodwater.
Rapid Flowing Waters
- It is essential to avoid driving through flowing water if it’s only a couple of centimeters deep. The vehicle could break down or get swept away.
- Those who opt to drive on flooded roads must monitor road conditions and comply with closed indications. They should also know about road hazards such as mud, building debris, tree limbs, and potholes.
- Walking through flowing water has to be avoided also. Rapidly moving water could be fatal, even for experienced swimmers.
- Places with mold, which can form within 24-48 hours of a flood, should be prevented. Mould has to be eliminated before moving back into the home. For mold and water damage cleanup, an expert flood damage restoration firm, for example, PuroClean, should be hired.
- Gas, propane, and diesel-powered equipment should be run just in well-ventilated outdoor areas to prevent carbon monoxide
- It’s best to stay away from building materials that may contain lead, such as painted surfaces and pipes.
- Nobody must enter areas where asbestos may have been used as a construction material.
- Those that are returning home after a flood ought to know about potential chemical hazards which floodwaters might have carried.
- Only firefighters or other trained employees should proceed with propane tanks since they might cause a fire or explode.
- It’s best to stay away from flooded cars to prevent electrical shock and contact with acid that may have spilled from a damaged car battery.
Electrical and Gas Dangers
- Electrical lines, wires, equipment, and fittings should never be touched during and after a flood.
- Property owners should not enter their homes if the main power switch was not turned off before the flood. A qualified electrician should first declare the home protected before re-entering.
- The home must be evacuated if anybody strikes methane gas inside.
To learn more about home flood safety, here are tips to shield homes from floods and how to maintain water out of a cellar. The PuroClean team stands ready to give expert restoration services to any property affected by fire, water, or mold damage.