Cleanup suggestions offered after flooding

August 21, 2018

Last week’s torrential rain that hit Watertown and the area wreaked a lot of havoc in the basements of homes and businesses and also resulted in flooding in numerous areas.

These conditions will require immediate cleanup attention, according to Carol Quest, city health inspector.

Quest said the federal Environmental Protection Agency has offered suggestions for cleanup in the aftermath of the flooding.

The suggestions follow:

Floodwater can make the air in a home unhealthy. This is because when things remain wet for more than two days they usually get moldy. There can also be germs and bugs in a home after a flood.

Mold may be more likely to make some people with asthma, allergies or other breathing problems sick.

Persons who have questions about cleaning or working in a home that has been flooded should talk with their medical professional.

If there is a large amount of mold in a home, it may be necessary to hire a professional for the cleanup process.

People should clean up mold and germs form the floodwater. Leaking pipes and other water problems should be fixed and then everything should be dried or the mold will grow again.

When cleaning an N-95 respirator should be worn along with goggles and gloves so mold is not touched with bare hands. Persons doing the cleaning should also wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and boots or work shoes. Goggles should be without vent holes so the mold cannot get in a person’s eyes.

Anything that was wet with floodwater and can’t be cleaned should be thrown away.

The process should also involve cleaning and drying hard surfaces such as showers, tubs and kitchen countertops. Use a detergent or use a cleaner that kills germs.

Cleaning products should not be mixed together and bleach should not be added to other chemicals.

If portable generators become necessary because of power outages, be sure they are used only outside. Fumes from using them indoors can be dangerous.

More information is available at this site: www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/flood-cleanup-protect-indoor-air-quality.

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