Can you believe the amount of rain we received Sunday night. It came at the time farmers were wishing for dry weather. Here is hope for a good harvest for the farmers. My father was a farmer and this time of year was tough for him, especially when the weather did not cooperate.
Even if you are not a farmer you may be dealing with extra water in your basement, yard or roads. We received a call requesting information for sanitizing toys that had been in flood water. This prompted us to provide information and resources for clean up after the heavy rain. I am having trouble using the word flood. It sounds sad.
Water, an essential in our lives, can wreak havoc on the structure of the house, your personal belongings and the health of the inside environment. Flood waters contain many contaminants and lots of mud. High dollar items can get ruined all at once, even with just an inch of water, for example, carpeting , wall board, appliances and furniture.
After a food, cleaning up is a long and hard process.
First things first: Call your insurance agent. If you insurance covers the damage, your agent will tell you when an adjuster will contact you. List damage and take photos or videos as you clean. You will need complete records for insurance claims, application for disaster assistance and income tax deductions.
To clean and disinfect every surface, scrub surfaces with hot water and a heavy duty cleaner. Rinse well. Then disinfect with a solution of ¼ cup chlorine bleach per gallon of water or a product that is labeled as a disinfectant to kill germs. Bleach and cleaners do not mix well. Ammonia and bleach together can react and result in harmful fumes. Even if the cleaner does not contain ammonia, the cleaner will make the bleach less effective. So wash, rinse and disinfect.
Immerse glass, porcelain, china, plastic dinnerware and enamelware for 10 minutes in disinfecting solution of 2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach per gallon of hot water. Air dry dishes, do not dry with a towel.
Disinfect silverware, metal utensils, pots and pans by boiling in water for 10 minutes. Chlorine bleach should not be used in this case because it reacts with many metals and causes them to darken.
Cupboards and counters need to be cleaned and rinsed with chlorine bleach solution before storing dishes.
More specific flood clean up information about food safety, furniture and household items, appliances, carpeting and more are available at the following links.
“Resources for Your Flooded Home” http://extension.missouri.edu/p/MP904
Colorado State University Cooperative Extension: How to Clean Up After A Flood
Iowa Cooperative Extension Service Flood Cleanup information
North Dakota State University; Information for Dealing with Floods