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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Three D's of Flood Cleanup

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

What are the cleaning requirements after a flood? You hear that flood water is contaminated, full of pathogens that are harmful to your family. How do you know what you need to throw away and what you can sanitize? Remember the three D’s of flood cleanup: Dispose, Disinfect and Dry. Here is a brief guide for each.


Follow local guidelines in Houston, TX / Harris County for waste disposal. If garbage service is not yet running, you can bury contaminated food about four feet deep to keep the odor away. You should however dispose of the following items:

  • Throw away any food, even canned or sealed, that has been in contact with flood water
  • Throw away food from your fridge if power has been off for more than 2 hours
  • Don’t use and garden produce that remain after a flood
  • Discard dishes with cracks, as well as any plastic or wooden kitchen items
  • Submerged drywall may need to be replaced
  • Dispose of carpet padding


Depending on what materials need to be cleaned, the cleaning requirements will vary. For most disinfecting, use one cup of bleach to one gallon of water.

  • Use bleach mixture and spray structural materials and personal items that were contaminated, rinse with clean water and dry
  • Disinfect kitchenware and appliances by using hot soapy water, scrubbing to remove solids, then rinsing with disinfected water. Make sure appliances are unplugged before taking them apart and wiping them down. Allow them to dry completely before reassembling


Without a proper drying technique, your flood disinfectant effort isn’t complete.

Flood remediation professionals have powerful equipment to help accelerate the drying process and ensure that it is thorough. You should start the drying process right away to help prevent permanent damage or the development of mold.

  • If power is back on, turn on fans and air conditioner unit to assist with drying until help arrives.
  • Hang rugs and remove cushions to put them in a better area for drying
  • Remove carpet and dry outdoors after cleaning

Trained restoration professionals can recognize what can be saved and what must be disposed of. They are trained in the proper cleaning requirements for specific materials.

Visit SERVPRO of Bear Creek or call (281) 463-9800 for additional information on storm damage.

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