Cleaning up after a flood: What you need to know

A deluge after a heavy downpour can be an eyesore, especially when it flows into your house.

The runoff carries everything, including sewage water and other contaminants. Once the damage is done, emptying the water from the home requires some skill.

This will prevent you from getting infections and ensure that everything in the house is restored to default settings.

So, here’s how to clean your house after flooding.

First, be safe

Cleaning up floodwaters in your house is not synonymous with cleaning spillover water from a tank or when you accidentally leave your taps open.

This water has everything it picked up outside while going to your house. For instance, if the water is still knee-high, you need waterproof boots. You cannot miss rubber gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and, if possible, safety goggles.

The stench from the water can be dispensed; you may need a mask to filter it so that you are comfortable in whatever you are doing. You also need to ensure that your electricity mains are switched off.

Drain the water from your house

It is futile to clean a house with remnants of the overflow. Removing all the water will help you ensure that you can clearly see your household items that need a deep clean. This, however, can only be possible if the rain has subsided and the ground outside has dried up.

When draining the water, pour it into designated drainages, especially those that have been unclogged, for ease of water flow. After draining the water, ensure that your house has enough ventilation.

Identify household items that need to be aired or thrown away

Household items like sofa sets, mattresses, and cushions can soak in dirty water depending on the material used. You may also air out anything damp to avoid growing mold, which could lead to other public health conditions like mold allergy. Some items cannot be salvaged because of the seeped dirty water in them. Such items may not be healthy and need to be disposed of or deeply cleaned using professional help.

Clean the surfaces

As already mentioned, floodwater carries along with everything, including sand. Some of the light silt may stick on surfaces. You need to clean the outer coat of the dirt first and then disinfect the surfaces to kill any lurking germs. During this process, ensure your rubber gloves are on, and wash the cloth used to clean the surfaces afterwards. Clean up to the ceiling area because the water may have splashed to that point. The floors need a deep scrub because they are the bedrock of all the water’s dirt. You must know your floor type when cleaning to avoid destroying it. Windows, too, need a deep clean. Remove the mildew stains, different from molds, when cleaning the surfaces.


Damages after a flood are bound to happen. They could affect household items or the house itself. This may require an expert assessment, especially inside and outside the house. Your sockets may need replacement. Your floor could be damaged, needing an overhaul or a simple repair. Some of your household items could be weakened by water and need reinforcement. All these will involve professionals, including carpenters, masons, electricians, or painters.

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