Floodwaters can be contaminated and require professional cleaning

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 10:05 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With so much flood damage Tuesday, people are trying to figure out the next steps to take to clean up the mess.

People throughout Birmingham and the surrounding areas had water creep into their homes and anytime that happens it requires immediate attention.

“Anytime there’s a heightened amount of contamination in flood water, and in this case there would be, it’s what we call in this industry level three contamination,” explained Eric Greene of the ServePro Storm Team.

Level 3 contamination essentially means gross stuff can grow from the flooding.

“Microbial growth is going to happen sooner rather than later,” said Greene.

Typically, anything the floodwater touched is a loss.

“What you’re trying to save is really anything that didn’t get touched by the water,” noted Ken Pate of Disaster Restoration in Leeds.

The wet carpet, pads, wet sheetrock... plan for it all to be a goner, and hope you have flood insurance.

“If you live in a flood zone, most likely you have had that added to your insurance policy,” said Pate.

The critical period to start work is within two or three days.

“You’re going to want to make sure number one, that you’re running your A/C,” said Greene.

Then, get as much water out as you can, toss rugs and carpet, and wipe down everything else while you wait on professional help.

Again one of the biggest reasons to call the pros is that the water is contaminated, there can even be raw sewage in it, so if you do any work on your own, gloves, handwashing --- all of that is a must.

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