Cleaning Your House After a Bad Hurricane
27 Oct 2020
There is really no way to protect your home completely from the ravaging of a bad storm, so the best way to go about it is to brace your home for the inclement weather as much as you possibly can. In doing so, you can keep the damage to your home’s exteriors, roof, appliances, supply lines, and other vital parts of your house to a minimum.
In many cases, after a bad storm, cleaning up is another challenge that many homeowners face aside from dealing with the damages. Strong winds and hard rains can easily make a mess of your previously manicured lawn. And if the heavy rain causes a flood, cleaning your house in the aftermath can be much, much harder.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, or at least not as difficult as it might seem. To make a post-storm clean up easier and less time-consuming, here are several strategies that you can use:
1. Wait until the weather calms down
As much as you want to clean up the mess that the storm made of your property, wait until the weather has calmed down before doing so. Even if the wind is not as strong as before or the rain has reduced to a drizzle, attempting to clean up in bad weather can be counterproductive. If you’re planning to get help from fire and water damage restoration companies, it’s especially important to wait until Mother Nature is in a good mood to maximize the hours that you pay for, as well as to ensure that everyone is safe.
2. Wear appropriate clothing
There’s likely going to be a lot of mud, debris, and standing water after a storm, so to protect your health and safety, ensure that you wear appropriate clothing when cleaning up. Your attire should include electrical hazard boots, heavy-duty waterproof gloves, thick pants (that you don’t mind getting dirty), and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your skin from water, sharp objects, and mud. If there is a danger of debris falling from above, add a hard hat to your clean-up attire.
3. Assess the damage
Gauging the damage to your property will help you determine what you need to clean up first and how you’re going to do it. Wearing your gear, do an inspection of the property to look for signs of damage and things that need to be cleaned up, such as:
• Broken or missing shingles
• Shattered window panes
• Damaged gutters
• Broken window frames
• Cracks and holes in walls, siding, ceilings, etc.
• Fallen branches or entire trees
• Flooding and water damage
• Piles of mud or debris
• Standing water
• Water-damaged belongings
• Uprooted plants and shrubs
• Cracked or missing flooring
• Chipped paint
It’s also a good idea to hire an electrician to inspect your electrical wiring and fuse box, especially if your house has experienced flooding. Likewise, you might want to hire a water damage specialist to determine if there is hidden water damage inside your house. Water can get into the insides of flooring, walls, and ceilings, and it’s better to spot the damage early on before the moisture facilitates mold growth or weakens the house’s structural integrity.
4. Rent a dumpster
Depending on the amount of damage your property sustains from the storm, you might have to rent a dumpster to store all the debris. Aside from being more efficient than throwing all the debris in trash bags or rubbish bins, having a dumpster for clean-up will make it safer since your team won’t have to touch the debris as much.
5. Hire an arborist
If the storm significantly damaged a tree on your property and now one of its branches is dangling dangerously from the trunk, hire an arborist to remove the hazard right away. Do not attempt to do this yourself, even if it looks like an easy job. Cutting off a part of a tree should be done by a professional familiar with the risks involved, which can include branches suddenly snapping off or the chainsaw accidentally kicking back.
Aside from removing dangerous parts of a storm-damaged tree, an arborist will also be able to save it from further damage and nurse it to full health after the storm.
Storms can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home and property, not to mention the costs it would take to clean up the aftermath. But even with mild storms, clean-up can be extremely tedious if you don’t know what to do.
Therefore, keep these strategies in mind when figuring out your post-storm clean-up plan. Aside from making clean-up easier, these tips will also help keep the expenses to a minimum.