Hold onto your hats, folks. Hurricane season’s now upon us. Get ready for high winds, storm surges, and heavy rains! It’s time to button down the hatches and prepare yourselves for what’s to come. After all, everyone remembers Katrina back in ’05: 120mph winds, 1200 fatalities, and $108 billion in damage to property. The potential for such devastation means prior preparation is key. For precisely the same reason, though, it’s essential to know how to handle what comes after a storm as well. Enter hurricane debris clean up 101. Clearly, chaos reigns when Mother Nature kicks up a fuss.
Dirt and debris get strewn everywhere, water damage is rife, and houses are left in disarray. Throw in structural damage, flooded sewers, and all manner of dangerous detritus, and cleaning up without injuring yourself is no mean feat.
Want some top storm clean up tips to help? Read on to learn exactly how to clean your home safely and effectively after disaster strikes.
Wear Appropriate PPE
There’s no shortage of household hazards to avoid after a hurricane.
Among other issues, walls and ceilings can collapse, standing water can be electrically charged, mold and mildew can form, and nails, splinters, and broken glass can litter the floor.
Be sure to put personal safety first throughout the post-storm cleanup!
Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) should help you do it. Get yourself a pair of goggles, a hard hat, respirators, and waterproof work boots to keep yourself safe. Rubber gloves, noise-canceling earplugs, and fire extinguishers can all come in handy too.
Start Work in the Daytime
Many homeowners feel compelled to start cleaning up as soon as a hurricane passes.
But that’s a recipe for disaster if it’s dark outside and the power’s out. After all, there could be any number of unseen hazards lying around!
Rushing into action is a recipe for coming into harm’s way.
Wait until the daytime instead. You’ll be able to see what’s in the environment, avoid any dangers therein, and have a better chance of staying safe as a result.
Assess & Photograph the Scene
The very first thing to do after a storm is to assess the damage.
Wearing your PPE and staying on high alert for hazards, do a walk-around of your property to inspect it for damage. Run an inventory of any issues as you go, paying particular attention to signs of water damage. Understanding the condition of your home should help you perform the necessary cleaning and repair work.
Make sure you take photographs as you explore the property as well! They should help when it comes to filing for insurance.
Create Ventilation ASAP
Start the process of cleaning up by opening up your doors and windows.
The ventilation this creates does two things:
Firstly, the fresh air will help dispel any dust and/or bad odors that are circulating around the property. Secondly, you’ll air out the house and help dry out any wet areas inside it. All told, you’ll create a more pleasant environment that should, in theory, facilitate the cleanup as well.
Throw out Sodden, Contaminated & Irreparable Goods
The next step is to clear out anything that can’t be salvaged.
There might be sopping wet carpets, curtains, and furniture; damaged kids’ toys and books; broken drywall and a garden full of debris to clear.
The simplest way to do it? Hire a dumpster from a professional company like ours.
Fill it with storm debris, and then the company will come and take it away for you. This removes the need for endless trips to the dump and helps you create space in your home to continue with the cleanup.
Work Together to Remove Heavier Debris
All manner of heavy items might have to be cleared from your property—furniture, construction materials, fallen branches—you name it. These are big, bulky objects that all need to be moved and discarded appropriately.
Be sure to protect your back! With a host of strenuous clearing and cleaning to do, the last thing you want is to hurt yourself. Work in pairs or groups to lift, shift, and ditch heavier items.
Clean & Dry Surfaces
Speed is key when it comes to cleaning up after a storm—especially when you’ve had water damage in areas of the property. The longer things stay dirty and wet, the more chance you have of developing mold and attracting pests.
With the windows opens and the space cleared of debris, set about drying surfaces in any way that you can. Everything from towels, fans, and hairdryers might help (assuming the power’s on and it’s safe to use).
Wipe each and every surface down with a disinfecting household cleaner as well. Any number of contaminants could have dirtied them, so be thorough in wiping them clean!
Take Your Time
Time is indeed of the essence when it comes to drying your property after a storm.
But, outside of that task, there’s something to be said for taking your time. Remember, everything about this experience can feel overwhelming! You’ve just been through a serious storm, and now your beautiful home is in a state of disrepair.
It’s natural to want to get it back to normal ASAP. However, rushing from one task to the next is a sure-fire way to burn yourself out. Taking things slowly, asking people to help, and dealing with one thing at a time should stop that happening.
Furthermore, a slower and more methodical approach should deliver a better end result anyway!
Now You Know Hurricane Debris Clean Up 101
People’s homes are ravaged by hurricanes every single year in the US.
They’re flooded, buffeted and battered around, leaving a trail of destruction in their stead. Needless to say, when the winds die down, the rains cease, and the waters recede, there’s an almighty amount of cleaning up to do!
Handling the task of debris clean up safely and effectively isn’t easy. We hope this post helps!
Need dumpster rentals in Orlando to assist in the cleanup? Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to be of service.