Understanding the Dangers of Flooding
No one wants to arrive home to find that they’ve experienced a major flood, but should this soggy nightmare become your reality, it’s important to know how to assess the situation before you begin the daunting task of cleaning up.
The most important thing to remember is that flooding can put you at risk for electrocution. If you’ve experienced any significant flooding, be sure to call in an electrician or your local hydro authority before you proceed with any clean up.
Once you’ve ensured that you are safe from electrical dangers, you need to assess the type of water you are dealing with. Depending on its source, and how long the water has been standing, you may need to take additional steps to minimize the health risks to you and your family.
Flood water can be classified in three different categories:
Clearwater is pure, uncontaminated water that is coming from clean sources, such as your water heater, water line, toilet holding tank or melting ice. This type of water does not pose any threat to your health as long as it is cleaned up right away.
Greywater is water that has leaked out of washing machines, dishwashers, bathtubs or sinks. It does have some soap and probably a few contaminants, but nothing that is going to cause illness. This type of flood can safely be cleaned up by the homeowner, as long as they take care of it right away, and of course, wear protective gear like gloves and a face mask.
Water that has been allowed to stand for several days, or water that contains fecal matter and human waste is considered blackwater. This may be a result of a sewage pipe break, a toilet leak or even a natural disaster. Blackwater is extremely toxic, and can cause serious illness if not addressed correctly. Homeowners should consider calling in a professional to make sure the flood is cleaned safely and thoroughly.
The best solution to flooding, however, is to prevent it in the first place! Be sure to have your plumbing inspected on a regular basis, and call the Rite Tech team at the first sign of any problems with your pipes, water heater or appliance hook ups.