Whether you have one inch or one foot of water in your basement, you need to know how to clean up the mess. You should start clean up as soon as the water recedes.
For your safety
- Be sure the electricity is turned off. In the case of severe flooding, do not use the electricity until a licensed electrician has checked your home.
- When using a flashlight, turn it on before going into the house. Do not use matches or any type of flame until you are sure there are no gas leaks, and the area has been aired out. Check to see if the pilot light is out.
- After outside flood waters have receded, drain about 1/3 of the water in your basement initially. Outside pressure pushing against your basement walls can cause the basement walls to collapse. Start by pumping the water level down 2-3 feet, marking the level & wait overnight. If the water level goes up, wait 24 hours, and then repeat process.
- Destroy all fresh or frozen food, medicine or cosmetics that have been in contact with flood water.
- If you suspect your water supply is contaminated, you can have it tested by calling the Minneapolis Water Department laboratories at 612-661-4999 or 311.
- If any appliances were touched by flood water, have them checked by a qualified serviceperson before operating them.
- Take pictures of flood damage and cleanup efforts. Photographs are helpful to document flood damage for insurance purposes.
- Keep track of how much time was spent on debris removal and cleanup.
- Use a disinfectant, such as 1 part bleach to 32 parts water, to scrub walls, floors, household items and appliances – clean everything that got wet. Wear protective gloves and eye protection.
- Clean all clothing, bedding, rugs, curtains, etc. as soon as possible, disinfecting if necessary.
- Use a bleach solution to clean and dry furniture and mattresses.
If your lawn has been underwater for less than four days, it should survive.
- Use a rake to clean away as much silt as possible.
- Break up the silt crust with a rake or aerator until the grass has recovered.
Repairing Your Flooded Home (FEMA)
Disclaimer: The items listed on this page are merely summaries of possible measures that can be used for dealing with flood damage. For more information about some specific how-to steps that you may want to consider, follow the provided links to other websites.
Last updated Feb 8, 2019