In case there is still standing water, it is practical to wear rubber boots and gloves. Switch the electricity off at the breaker box and get all electrical appliances and extension cords up on higher ground dry them out. Be certain your home is structurally safe, which means looking out for broken sharp objects on the floor and anything you might trip over.
All drinking water ought to be either boiled, put through a water purifier or use bottled water. Areas that are dry but have been exposed to sewage should be thoroughly washed down using a solution of household bleach and water. We suggest a 25% bleach to water solution.
Toss out all water damaged rugs, particle board furniture, mattresses, suitcases, food, even photographs and books, and adhere to your local authority guidelines for disposal. A lot of electrical appliances will not survive if they have been submerged in water. Dishwashers, refrigerators and vacuum cleaners are less expensive to replace than repair. Make use of rubber gloves and mask when cleaning loose debris so as not to inhale any toxic particles.
This includes water soaked bedding, towels, drapes, cushions and clothing using the hot sanitizing cycle on your washing machine. Dry clean heat sensitive textiles. Put dishes through the dishwasher on hot cycle.
Clean up the last standing water with a portable submersible sump pump and a wet dry vac. Then use a high capacity, low temperature dehumidifier to take care of the rest. An auxiliary or built in pump makes this task a lot easier. It is important to open windows and ventilate rather than turn on the heat high [about 50°F] in the house or use fans, which is an invitation to grow mold spores and spread them around the house. Do not try to dry out the house too hurriedly, because if you do it will cause wood floors to warp and buckle.
Wash down all surfaces, such walls, cabinets, basement floors including those which were not in direct flood contact with your bleach solution. Then wipe down with clear water. Using a vapor steam cleaner on all surfaces to disinfect is an even better solution.
Remove dry wall up to and 2 feet above flood levels on walls and remove all insulation which came in contact with flood waters. It is imperative to do this if you want to avoid future mold problems. We have heard too many horror stories from people whose houses became infested with toxic mold – so it is not worth taking a chance and skipping this step. Replace hardwood flooring, especially sub flooring if this has been soaked. Keep ventilating with fresh air until the house is completely dry. Have the duct work professionally cleaned after the house has dried out.
Have an HVAC professional inspect your electrical systems and appliances. Replace all filters and switches. Check your furnace, as a burnout of the motor may be imminent. Be certain your plumbing and toilet facilities are working.