Iowa Department of Public Health

Transcript

1 Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Environmental Health Services Frequently Asked Questions Cleaning Flooded Basements About rainfalls can cause Strong Overview heavy : flooding throughout Iowa. As storms and residents clean out their flood -damaged homes, the Iowa Department of Public Health has developed this fact sheet to address common questions from the public related to basement clean -up after a flooding event. What should I do before entering a flooded basement? 1. Turn off the electrici ty, preferabl y at the meter. If you cannot safely turn it off, contact your utility company to have it disconnected. 2. Turn off all gas valves. 3. Check outside cellar walls for possible cave -ins, structural damage, or other hazards. 4. Open doors and windows, or use blowers to force fresh air into the basement. Gas may be trapped inside your home. Wear rubber gloves when handling materials that have been in floodwater. 5. What should I know before pumping water out of my basement? ered by your own electrical system. Instead, use a gas- Do not use an electric pump pow Never place a gas -powered unit inside. powered pump, or one connected to an outside line. Always place it outside in a well -ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide. More damage may be done by pum ping water from the basement too soon or too quickly, than from letting the floodwater remain. Water in the basement helps brace the walls against the extra pressure of water -logged soil outside. If water is pumped out too soon, walls may cave in from the outside water pressure. To help prevent structural damage, pump water out of your basement in stages. Remove abou t a third of the water each day to prevent structural damage or collapsing of basement walls due to unequal pressure. -up process? What about the cle an • Shovel out any mud and debris while it is still moist. Hose down walls and remove as much silt as possible before it dries. • • Floors and walls may need sanitizing, particularly if sewage has entered the basement. • Scrub walls and floors with a mild bleach and water solution prepared according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the area to dry completely. In homes without basements the area below the floor may be completely filled with mud. Remove the mud as soon as possible to avoid rotting floor joists or the foundation. Reviewed 3/18/2019

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