Flooding can cause so much damage to a home, it makes sense that many homeowners would want to save what they could. However, a U.S. News article says that this frugality can be dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that if the flood waters are contaminated with sewage, than most textiles, furniture, and carpeting should be chucked.
If you have a baby, you may be wondering what to keep and what to get rid of, since mold can develop and cause health issues. Here are some questions to ask yourself when assessing your baby's bedroom.
How long has flood water been in the room?
After a flood, mold can start colonizing in about 24 and 48 hours. So if your house has been flooded out for weeks, you may have to take a hit and replace most items. However, if your house has only been flooded for a day or two, then you need to contact a cleaning service that specializes in flood damage. You should also start cleaning, drying, and disinfecting as much as you can.
What baby clothes, blankets and/or other textiles can you disinfect?
You will need to chuck baby blankets, mattresses, and pillows; but, if you have an heirloom quilt or other items of value, take it to a dry cleaner first.
Baby clothes made out of silk, wool, and polyester may be able to be saved since these materials can resist mildew and spores. Throw away items made of acetate cotton and rayon since these fabrics are weakened by mold.
Take the baby clothes outside and let them dry in the sun, since that will help to kill mildew and bacteria. If your laundry equipment is still safe to use and not damaged by the flood, purchase a disinfected approved by the EPA to wash the clothes. If the laundry equipment is damaged, again, take what you can to a professional cleaning service.
Can you keep rocking chairs and changing tables?
Porous material like composite, vinyl, and veneer (usually made of a core material like plywood) should be removed. However, if you have solid wood rocking chairs and tables that were soaking for only a day or so, they can often be saved. Like the baby clothes, you can set the furniture out in the sun to kill bacteria and completely dry. Lastly, if you have a non-porous changing table or chair made of certain plastics and metals, these often can be disinfected.
Can you keep baby toys?
Stuffed toys are not safe and should be thrown away. If your baby is still putting toys into his or her mouth, it's often best to throw these items away. You may be able to disinfect larger non-porous toys that will not be in baby's mouth. Babycenter.com says that you can clean toys with a small amount of bleach in a gallon of water. Once these items are cleaned, you can set them in the sun to dry.
As you can see, while many items can be salvaged, it's only if the flood waters haven't lingered too long. Since some people are less stringent about what they discard and what they save, it's always best to talk with a professional from companies like Atlantic Carpet Care for more help so that your baby isn't exposed to contaminated items.