Cleaning up after Hurricane Irma a tough job for many Posted on September 20, 2017 under Blog, Cleaning Tips. | no comments.
Cleaning up after Hurricane Irma is a daunting task for most of us in Southwest Florida.
Winds whipping through Collier and Lee counties snapped trees and poles, knocked down power lines, crushed pool cages and uprooted trees and plants.
Flood waters and storm surge carried cars away, swept up debris, seeped into houses, turned rivers and canals into lakes and made many homes uninhabitable.
Residents had to remove fallen trees, large palm fronds, tree branches, debris, sand and mud from roadways, yards and homes across Naples, Estero and Bonita Springs, FL.
Cleaning up after Hurricane Irma will take time. The work is well under way but many are trying to clean and repair damages while trying to get back to a normal life.
We know many of you are dealing with wet clothes and household items. Some have the added concern of dealing with contaminated water. How do you get everything clean? Can your clothes be saved?
Your household items and clothes are a big expense and it’s likely it’s not your only expense after this hurricane. We wanted to offer you a few tips to help save what you can.
Tips for cleaning up floodwater
- Turn off the electricity if there is water inside your home. If there’s more than a half-inch of standing water, there may be too much to clean up yourself. However, if you choose to hire someone, use a licensed, reputable company. This is an important job that impacts your health and safety. Avoid someone who walks up off the street or the companies that put up temporary signs in your area.
- Try to remove any standing water as quickly as possible. When the flooding has stopped and there’s a manageable amount of water, you can use wet/dry vacuums on hard surfaces as well as carpet. Be careful using electric tools if there’s standing water.
- Even after the water is gone, you’ll have some moisture, which can cause mold and mildew. This can be a dangerous situation. You can use a dehumidifier after the water is gone but another alternative is a portable air-conditioning unit. It can help reduce humidity and keep you cool without using your permanent unit that could be contaminated.
Tips for cleaning wet or muddy clothes and household items
- Before you wash your clothes, make sure that your water is safe to use. You don’t want to wash your clothes in contaminated water. Also check to make sure there are no water usage restrictions in the area. If the water isn’t safe, bring your clothes to Champion Cleaners or call us at 598.1555 for free pick up and delivery in Estero, Naples and Bonita Springs, FL. We offer wash, dry and fold services as well as dry cleaning and clothing repairs.
- When handling your clothes, it’s a good idea to wear gloves to avoid possible contamination on your hands. Depending on the severity of the flood, you may even want to wear goggles or a mask. Floodwaters often contain sewage, fertilizer runoff and other toxic material.
- Rinse heavily soiled wet or muddy items outside with a hose before putting them in the washer. You can also soak them in a sink.
- Put wet clothes, comforters, sheets, linens, etc. outside to dry if you are unable to wash them right away. Do not store wet clothes in plastic bags because it could cause mold or mildew.
- Consider using extra rinse cycles if your washer includes this feature. You should check the water during the rinse cycle to see if it’s clean. If not, you may want to run the wash cycle again.
- Use the hottest water setting safe for the fabric to disinfect the items. You may want to add disinfectants such as Lysol to the wash if it won’t damage the fabric.
- Make sure your clothes are clean before putting them in the dryer. It may take several wash cycles to get them clean but if you put them in the dryer, you could set the stain.
It may sound like a lot of work to get your clothes clean but mold, mildew and contaminants are hazardous to your health. It’s better to be safe than risk your health. It’s also less expensive if you can clean your clothes rather than buy new ones.
We would be happy to clean your clothes, comforters, curtains and other household items if you prefer to have a professional do it. We offer free pick up and delivery if you need it. It could save you time and money as well as provide peace of mind. Call 239.598.1555.