- Flooded Properties
- Cleaning Up the House
Cleaning Up the House after the Flood.
Floodwater contaminated by sewage contains large amounts of bacteria Wash hands, thoroughly after contact. Hand sanitizers can also be used to clean hands if clean water is not available. After the water has been removed from the premises, mud and debris should be removed by scraping and washing.
The premises and furniture should be thoroughly washed with soap and water and then disinfected using a household bleach solution. This solution can be prepared by adding 10 ml of household bleach solution to 1000 ml of water. For furniture, it is recommended that it be scoured with soap and water and then left to dry. The house should be thoroughly aired and dried. Drywall and insulation which has been wet should be removed to prevent hidden mould growth
Do not enter a flooded area unless the electrical supply to that area has been shut off. If the electricity shut off switch is in the flooded area, it should be shut off from the outside of the building. Please contact your local Public Utilities Services or Hydro One to do this. Do not attempt to use or operate any electrical appliances until house wiring and equipment has been inspected and found safe.
Without electrical power, a full upright or chest freezer will keep everything frozen for about two days. A half-full freezer will keep food frozen for one day. Keep the freezer door closed as much as possible. If food thaws, but remains cold to the touch, it is safe to refreeze it.
Without electrical power, a refrigerator will keep food cool for four to six hours. Adding ice can help to keep a refrigerator cool. Throw out food that has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours.
Food to be most concerned about includes meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, cooked rice, pastas and casseroles, soups, stews and gravies.
If food has come in contact with floodwater, it must be thrown out. Canned food can be saved. Wash cans with soap and water, and immerse in a bucket filled with bleach solution. Add 10 ml of bleach for every litre of water. Let cans soak for one minute and then air dry. Be sure to label them if the label peels off. Food stored in glass jars (home-made jams and pickles for example) must be thrown out. The jars can be re-used after cleaning and sterilizing.
For more information, please contact the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit at 613-345-5685 or check the Canada Mortgage and House Corporation website.
Adapted for use from the Peterborough County-City Health Unit.