Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cleaning up after a flood

Floods have become a recurring problem in Metro Manila, and with the Philippines’ standard wet and dry seasons, rainy downpours are inevitable during the second half of the year. Typhoons also occur invariably throughout the year. Metro Manila residents who have homes in low-lying areas such as Marikina, now experience flooding regularly. During particularly bad typhoons, floodwaters reach the inside of some homes and even rise up to engulf the first and second floors.

Before you start your cleanup, be sure to wear protective clothing such as rubber gloves and boots.

When floodwaters invade your home, it can potentially damage your furniture and interior furnishings, as well as compromise your healthy environment. Proper cleanup after a flood is a long and difficult process, but it is a necessary process to ensure the health and safety of your loved ones.  

  1. Before you start your cleanup, be sure to wear protective clothing, such as rubber gloves and boots.
  2. Open the doors and windows to let your house breathe and let out foul odors and smells. This will also speed up the drying process.
  3. Check your home’s safety conditions. Sagging ceilings or floors may be signs of compromised structure, and these areas might not be safe to walk on. 
  4. Shut down the main water and power supply until they have been assessed by an electrician. To prevent electrocution, avoid touching any electrical appliance while standing in water.
  5. Get rid of all food, drinks and medicine that has been exposed to floodwater.
  6. Mud usually comes in the house with the floodwaters. Shovel out the wet mud and use a spray or hose to get rid of the hardened mud.
  7. Clean hard surfaces with hot water and soap or a detergent. Next, disinfect these surfaces with a mixture of one gallon of water with one-fourth of a cup of chlorine bleach.
  8. Get rid of items that have absorbed water and can’t be cleaned and disinfected. This includes mattresses, futons, carpeting and stuffed toys.
  9. Take furniture and rugs outdoors to be dried under the sun.
  10. It is best to leave the cleaning of upholstered furniture to the professionals as germs and bacteria may have already soaked in. - Aislinn Kee


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