How To Clean Up After a Flood? AU

Flood cleanup is difficult with standing water. Plan how you’ll handle the damage from flood water. Follow these steps to restore your home’s viability and completely dry.

Make sure you have long sleeves on when trying DIY methods to prevent you from being bitten by snakes and spiders use eye protection and wash your hands for health and safety reasons


Safety first. Before you start cleaning, be sure you’re safe. The structure may not be safe if the water contains sewage or other impurities. Cleaning may make buildings uninhabitable.

Cleaning tips

Hard surfaces should be cleaned with hot soapy water and disinfected with chlorine bleach or mixed bleach as a disinfectant agent. Clean and dry after disinfecting.

Linen, blankets, and apparel should be hot-washed or dry-cleaned.

Flood-damaged mattresses may need to be thrown out because of mold growth.

Garden hoses can clean foam and rubber mattresses. Before drying, squeeze detergent through the mattress.

Other beds or furniture, such as lounge chairs, can be sun-dried and disinfected. If you’re unclear about your furniture’s condition, contact a local firm.

Floodwater-damaged soft or moulded toys with air injection holes should be discarded.

Then disinfect solid toys and dry them with vacuum cleaner.

Floods might hamper trash pickup. Contact your local council to learn about affected services.

Before the cleaning:

a photograph or film. Before cleaning, take photographs or videos for insurance claims (and tax deductions).

Keep expenditure records.

Insurance companies may have extra claim criteria.

Frozen books and papers can be used afterwards. Before freezing, use waxed paper and plastic bags.

Product disinfection

Cleaning should include disinfecting home goods.

Flood-cleaning products eliminate filth.

Floodwater disinfectants limit disease-causing microorganism development.

Powdered or liquid cleansers are cheaper and more practical than aerosols.

Buy cleansers and disinfectants in bulk to cut costs.

Products aren’t all-purpose. Consult the label before using any product.

Cleaning walls, wood, linoleum, and tile:

Ammonia and TSP work nicely.

Top Job, Ajax, Spic-n-Span, and others remove muck, silt, and grease.

Rinse carpets and furniture with diluted chlorine bleach disinfectant.

All-purpose detergents like Tide, Wisk, and Cheer clean washable materials effectively.

Use 10 parts water to 1 part bleach to disinfect chlorine-safe fabrics.

Disinfect washable fabrics using Lysol or Pine Sol.

Consult a dry cleaner for damaged wool or silk.


Broken windows and roof damage are easily repairable. Glaziers and plumbers can fix windows and roofs.

Get three insurance quotes whenever possible.

Before hiring somebody, ask your insurance how to get an examination.

Use licenced, registered, and association-member tradesmen. They must adhere to a code of behaviour to keep their licence or registration.

If you have issues with tradespeople’s behaviour, contact your state/consumer territory’s affairs agency.


There are several things you can do immediately while drying out and restoring.

Wet items should be dried outside to avoid retaining moisture inside the home (weather permitting). Removing water-damaged drywall and insulation.

Open doors and windows on dry days.

On rainy days, open the windows so moisture may escape.

Open windows and turn on as many heaters as possible.

Only use one heater per room; some heat will drive out moisture, but too much will distort wood.

Under shower trays, beneath seats, bathtubs, and bottom shelves.

Remove the skirting or plinth, hose or pump away the muck, then dry the surface.

Ignore mould until it’s dried (see below for more information on mould).


Remove furniture backs to increase airflow. Don’t force open swollen wooden doors and drawers; they’ll open when dry.

Solid wood can be fixed and cleaned, but veneer separates and warps.

White mildew stains on wood can be removed using wood alcohol or mineral turpentine.

Wood furniture can be restored with lanolin-based creams.

Upholstered furniture absorbs floodwater toxins and should be professionally cleaned or discarded.

Get a professional’s opinion on whether to save antique or expensive furniture.


Before running a dishwasher or washing machine, check the sewer line or septic tank.

Clean dishwashers, washers, and dryers using safe-to-drink water.

Refrigerators and freezers have water-damaged foam insulation and sealed parts. Professionals should empty, clean, disinfect, and inspect or replace them.

Before replacing a costly item, acquire advice in writing and consult your insurance assessor.


Throw away all water- and mud-exposed food, drinks, and medicine, including canned products and sealed containers. If unsure, toss it.

Throw away porous and soft plastics (e.g. wood and pottery) Disinfect by hand.

Don’t use a tea towel to dry or disinfect dishes.

If water is safe to drink and the sewage line works, clean and disinfect it first, then wash pots, pans, plates, and utensils on a full cycle (not energy saving) hot setting.

Books, papers

With work, you may be able to repair priceless documents like books, photos, and stamp collections yourself.

Rinse and freeze goods (in a frost-free freezer or industrial meat locker) until you have time to work on them.

Dry thawed or unsealed papers (a hairdryer will work).

The blotting paper helps books air dry.

Dry paper products until they separate easily.

Location dry papers and books in a cool, dry place for a few days if they smell musty.

If the scent persists, place them in an open box with baking soda to absorb odors, then seal the bigger container.

Check for mould frequently and don’t allow the baking soda to contact the books.

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