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What to do after a flood

If you are unfortunate enough to be flooded, here are a few pointers for when you first get home.

1. Remove water and mud

The Fire and Rescue Service may be able to pump out standing water but will charge for non-emergencies. Otherwise use a pump (from a hire or DIY shop), or use buckets followed by a wet / dry vacuum.

  • Shovel out mud (which may be contaminated) then hose out or use a garden sprayer.
  • Take precautions when handling used sandbags as they could be contaminated.
  • Remove any toilet waste from affected areas by shovelling it into black bags, and sealing them.
  • Wear protective clothes, boots and rubber gloves.

2. Clean and disinfect

  • Use a brush, soapy water and heavy-duty cleaner, then rinse.
  • Floodwater may be contaminated so disinfect all areas affected after cleaning.
  • Make sure you wash your hands with disinfectant after cleaning up.
  • Disinfecting also avoids mildew and moulds.

3. Dry

  • Take furniture, carpets, bedding and clothing outside, to avoid mould.
  • Use fans plus industrial heaters and dehumidifiers.
  • Have the central heating on at 22°C or above.

Drying out can take weeks or even months. If it is done too quickly, it can cause structural damage and long-term problems.

Good ventilation is essential - keep windows and doors open on dry days and remove any air brick covers.

Back to main flood guide

Page updated: 04/12/2020 Page updated by: Flooding Team

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