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Kathleen Weaver Zech - Dean's Team Director of Buyers Agency ServicesMost of the flood water you encounter in your basement will contain at least some sewer water. Never walk into a flooded basement without footwear.  Waterproof rubber boots are best.

Always wear heavy duty rubber gloves if you are going to handle any wet items, expecting anything you touch is contaminated. In my opinion it's better to just throw out anything that is easily replaceable. You do have the option to sanitize these items, but there is no guarantee that the sewer odor will be completely removed. 

After you remove what you can from your basement, it is definitely time to sanitize. Use ¾ cup bleach for every gallon warm water. Wear old clothes in case you splash bleach water on yourself.

First, make sure you have proper ventilation, bleach fumes can be overpowering.  Another caution around bleach, never mix any other cleaner with bleach!  It will cause a toxic gas to form that will land you in the hospital.

Wash down all surfaces touched by flood water. Use fans to speed along drying. Let any appliances completely dry out before trying to turn them on. 

As a side note, most washing machines have the motor higher up. I've noticed many homes in Chicagoland have their appliances raised up on concrete platforms or blocks, which is also a good idea.

A quick tip driving around flooded areas. Do not drive through standing water. You do not know how deep it is! We always see trapped cars under viaducts with water up to their windows. I'm sure it looked safe to them. It is easier to drive around than to be trapped or stalled. Most lives lost in a flood occur on the road.

Good luck. Stay dry!


Posted: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 8:38 AM by Dean's Team


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