13 Aug 2014
Metro Detroit got a lot of national attention about the 4+ inches of rain that we received on Monday and the freeways that were flooded (so much so that Governor Snyder issued a disaster declaration today). Less discussed are the basements that filled with water and in some cases sewage that backed up because the sewer systems couldn’t keep up. As the waters recede, people all over southeast Michigan are trying to figure out what to do next. Once electricity is safely addressed and the water is gone, the question becomes what to keep and what to pitch. The basic rule is that if it is hard and non-porous, you can clean it; if not, it must be professionally cleaned or disposed of. Here are a few additional suggestions:
- For insurance purposes, take pictures of your basement before beginning any work.
- Shovel out as much mud as you can as quickly as possible. The mud left behind by floodwaters poses a health hazard, and it is a lot easier to remove before it dries out.
- Hose off the walls and floors with clean water and then disinfect them with a solution of 1 ½ cups of liquid chlorine bleach to a gallon of fresh water. NEVER mix bleach and ammonia cleaning products. This will produce deadly chlorine gas.
- Disinfect all surfaces that were soaked by flood waters with “disinfecting” or “sanitizing” products. An alternative is to use a mixture of 1/4 cup liquid chlorine bleach mixed into one gallon of water. Remove mildew using household mildew removers or fungicides.
- Remove the vents or registers of heating and air conditioning ducts, the wall covers for wall switches and outlets that were flooded. Clean and disinfect them as above.
- All flexible ducting, including dryer connections, should be replaced.
Now comes the truly difficult part – the finished basement- (more…)