Because Orange County has been experiencing thunderstorms and flash floods recently, we decided to write an article about what to do when you’re ready to go back into your home after a flood. You may think your home is safe, but there are some common hidden dangers to rid your Orange County home or business of before occupying it again.
The first thing you should do is call a professional restoration company like Milestone Building Group of Orange County. We know all potential risks and how to succeed at the ultimate goal of keeping your family safe from mold and electrical dangers. Call us to keep damage and danger risks to a minimum.
As much as you’d like to get into your Orange County home and survey the damage, there are hidden dangers that you are not aware of, which is why you should send in professionals like us. Don’t worsen the devastation of the flood by becoming a victim of an accident! Here are our tips below:
1. Check the exterior of the property
Take care while walking around the outside of building and investigate the property visually. Are there any fallen power lines or electrical connections that may be touching water? Water and electricity are not a fun match and of course can be very dangerous. Also, if you smell gas while walking the exterior, there’s almost definitely a gas leak, which could be ignited by a spark if there is a downed power line. For either of these problems, call the associated utility company directly. If water is still standing near your home, check the outside walls carefully for cracks or bulges that can indicate water pressure pushing from the inside. If this is the case, do not enter your home, as it’s possible the house could collapse while you’re inside. Be aware of porches and overhangs which may have been weakened by the rushing water during the flood and could also collapse.
2. Disconnect utilities
After your external check, disconnect both the electrical and the gas supply. If the gas is turned on, you have a chance of fire or explosion in your home. And for electrical supply—everyone knows that when electricity and water mix, electrocution follows shortly after. But please note: if the only way to shut these off is by entering the home, please don’t do so until it is deemed safe to go in by professionals. People die every year from electrocution in flood-related cases.
If the utility company has shut off the gas or electricity to the street, still take the precaution and shut off the supply to your home. This way you won’t be caught surprised when the utility company turns it back on without prior notice, subjecting you to potential shock hazards.
3. Be prepared
Here’s a list of items to wear or bring with you when you enter your home after a flood:
- Rubber or latex gloves to protect against hazards like sewage, chemicals and oil in the water
- Waterproof rubber boots or waders to protect your feet and legs
- A 95-micron mask to filter out pollutants and mold particles in the air
- Hard hats and protective clothing
- First-aid kit
- A flashlight
- A dry wooden stick to use to turn off breakers, unplug cords or scare off any animals
- Cleaning supplies, including broom, mop, disinfectant, water hoses
- Trash bags, trash cans and dumpsters
4. Don’t assume your property is clean and safe
The reason companies like Milestone Building Group (and other water damage restoration companies) exist is for good reason—there is no way that an individual without the right tools and equipment can properly dry a home after a flood. Even using a pump sprayer and bleach water, you will not be able to sterilize your home and kill all of the mold, which is dangerous to the health of your, your loved ones, and pets’ health- and possibly deadly to boot! The possibility of mold is not to be taken lightly! Most insurance companies cover our services, and we are experts with making and executing successful claims. Please don’t risk your health by trying to clean up after a major flood on your own!
In case you’re still thinking you’re fine and you’ll handle it yourself, be aware that there’s a danger if you are using a pump and you remove the water too fast. After a big storm, this water could be all that’s holding up the walls around you—if you pull out the water too quickly, the walls could give way and your entire house would collapse. Not to mention the danger to you or any other people inside at the time.
Milestone Building Group has all the latest equipment and tools necessary to get your Orange County home back in order after a flood, efficiently and properly. Don’t waste crucial time by trying to clean it yourself and causing further damage to your home, and causing potential hazards to your health. Call us now for an estimate: we’re open 24 hours a day to serve you when disaster strikes!