What Water Damage Can You Clean Yourself?

What Water Damage Can You Clean Yourself?

It’s been less than a week since Tropical Storm Imelda showed her wrath, and Texans are still reeling from the affects as the begin to assess the damage done to their homes by floodwaters. Every year flooding wreaks havoc on homes and commercial property.

If your home or business has been flooded, your first priority should be safety.  Before you consider entering your property assess the outside. If you see any structural damage, sagging floors or ceilings, or damage to power or gas lines, DO NOT enter the property. If you are clear of any major structural hazards, enter the property with caution. Before entering the property, put on protective clothing, rubber gloves, and boots. Be aware of snakes, insects, and rodents that may have migrated to your property during the flooding. Watch your step as risk of slipping and falling is high.

If you have insurance now is the time to take extensive photos and videos of your property and make a detailed list of everything that is damaged or missing. If you plan to do some of the cleaning yourself first ensure that your running water is safe and uncontaminated. Also, flush your toilet in order to check to clogs that may have happened from debris and mud. Before getting started, open up all your doors and windows to make sure that the area is well ventilated. But DO NOT turn on ceiling fans or lights if the ceilings are wet.


Getting Started

As you remove debris, water trapped in walls, damaged drywall, insulation, and wall coverings from your home, you’ll want to avoid doing certain things. DO NOT leave standing pools of waters for mosquitoes to breed in. DO NOT use a household vacuum to remove mud and water. DO NOT attempt any structural or electrical work yourself. And DO NOT let removed debris and garbage pile up as it could attract pests and exacerbate contamination.

Be extremely cautious about using any appliances. Using them before they are deemed safe could cause electrical shock. All appliances should be inspected before they are used again to ensure that they are safe.


Household Goods

Any permeable materials such as padded furniture should be thrown out. Also, all exposed food, beverages, medicines, including canned foods, should be thrown out. Hard surfaces such as granite countertops and tile flooring can be cleaned with hot water and soap. Wood items can be cleaned and disinfected as well but special attention needs to be paid to properly drying them out. Ceramic dishes and glassware can be cleaned with hot water and detergent, but any soft plastics should be thrown away.


Cleaning up after a flood is a lot of work and will undoubtably be stressful. Cleaning up after a flood takes times, supplies, and knowledge. Although it is possible to do some flood restoration work yourself, only professional contractor work will likely be eligible for home and flood insurance reimbursements. If you would like an expert contractor to assess your flood damage and give you an estimate for full restoration, please contact us. We were here for Texas after Hurricane Harvey, and we’re here now, to help our neighborhoods and communities.



Contact Us


Putnam Builders has been building custom homes on the Gulf Coast of Texas and surrounding areas since 1963. We would love the opportunity to discuss your custom home ideas in our design studio in Bacliff, TX or in the comfort of your own home. Please contact us at 281-339-0838 or request a free consultation.

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