Cleaning Up After A Storm

Business and home owners in North and South Carolina are facing a huge cleanup after Hurricane Florence and it won’t be easy. According to CBC News, decisions will need to be made — what should they tackle themselves and when should they hire a professional?

Here are a few tips to get things back to normal:

• Most consumer advocates say the faster staff gets back to the business the better. The potential impact of damage escalates the longer the water sits. Even if roads are blocked, proceed with caution and consider walking while using a wagon to carry your tools.

• The biggest enemy of a flooded building is fungus, which can overtake a structure in 48 to 72 hours. Start ventilating as soon as possible — open windows and break out walls to expose pockets of moisture. Turn on fans (if possible) but not the heat.

• There will be times when carpets can be saved after a flood. In cases where carpets can be cleaned, it's important to stress that the underlying padding should be tossed.

• Check for all forms of damage, including broken pipes or furniture that may have been soaked by bacteria-filled flood water. If the water has made its way into electrical outlets and wiring — call a professional.

• If you’re doing your own cleanup, always wear a face mask. Clean to the studs, joists and hardwood floors. Common cleaning products will suffice, along with a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to eliminate allergens, fine dust and spores.

Before you start any restoration plan, be sure to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information on cleanup hazards.