Wash curtains, clothes, and bedding with warm water and soap. Whiten them whenever possible and then dry and iron them. Rinse carpets and furniture with clean water, shampoo, and air dry. Remove mud and sediment with a shovel or other suitable tool, then use a garden hose to wash hard surfaces.
Cleaning should begin as soon as the water is removed to prevent mold growth. When electricity is restored, use dehumidifiers and fans throughout the house to speed up drying, which could take several weeks. Aggressively control mold in the weeks after the flood. Try to get rid of excess moisture by leaving it exposed to direct sunlight for 1 to 2 days.
Avoid using hairdryers or blowers because wood can break if it dries too quickly. Clean, disinfect and dry all hard surfaces with a product that kills germs. A cleaning product will simply remove dirt from surfaces. However, a disinfectant product, such as a cleaner containing bleach or bleach diluted with water, will use chemicals to kill bacteria, such as mold on surfaces that can form after a flood.
It's overwhelming to see signs of flooding in your home, such as active water on the floor or water stains on the walls. Flood waters can bring in contaminated sewer water, and objects that have been in the water for more than 48 hours can produce mold. For example, if flood damage is caused by a sewer pipe, the water and sewer company will be involved. To properly clean flood-damaged items, you'll first soak them in hot water and oxygenated bleach (or other fabric-safe fabric bleach) and then throw them in the washing machine as usual.
Whether caused by heavy rains, by a river that overflows along its banks, or by floods caused by a storm surge, water can cause significant damage that requires immediate and significant cleaning.