My Home Was Flooded - Should I Try And Clean Up Myself Or Hire Professionals?

A flood can be devastating, and usually the first thing you'll want to do is start cleaning up so you can evaluate the damage and begin trying to get your home back to normal. After a flood, you have two options – call in a team of professionals who deal in floods, or attempt to clean up yourself. While you may assume that professional help will cost a lot of money, it can actually be better value if it helps you salvage more of your things and get your home in a habitable state faster. There are also situations where it really isn't safe, or possible to get the job done without professionally trained people and their equipment.

Here are things to consider when deciding if you need a company to help you with flood clean up.

Is There Sewage in the Flood Water?

If the water that has flooded your home has the unmistakable smell of sewage, then it is not going to be safe for you to even try and clean it up yourself. In fact, you should avoid coming into contact with it. Sewage water is dangerous because it contains all kinds of germs and bacteria, and so you really need a trained person with the right clothing and equipment to come and remove the sewage and make the area safe for you.

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Is There Electrical Stuff Near the Water?

If there are fuse boxes, wires, sockets and other electrical things in or near the water, don't go near it until professional emergency response people have had a chance to make things safe for you. As everybody knows, water and electricity make a dangerous combination and even if it seems like it's safe to go in, there is still a risk.

Is the Water Deep?

If you find yourself ankle deep in water, or worse, then it's going to be very hard for you to clean up quickly enough to prevent serious water damage. You'll have a much better chance of getting things saved and returning your house to some semblance of normality in the near future if you use a professional team with industrial pumps, dehumidifiers and other kit designed to clear water out and dry out materials fast. In the event of a serious flood, it is generally worth every penny to be able to sit back and let people with experience and the right tools for the job set about cleaning up than dealing with the stress of trying to do these things yourself.

None of the Above?

If the flooding is minor and it is safe inside your house, then you may decide that you can handle the job of cleaning up yourself. However, even if you do this you may benefit from hiring some equipment like a wet vac and, if you don't have one, a dehumidifier to help you with the tasks at hand. Remember that you have a very short window to salvage things before mold and bacteria become a major issue, so you need to dry things out within the first 36 hours to avoid health risks. If you can, ask for help with the clean up from friends and family and do as much as you can within the first day.
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This post has been written by Eidur Johanson, an employee at Care Master, a 24 hour emergency service. He loves to interact with people and he also enjoys serving at the local community centre in his spare time.
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