After the storm, and once you’ve determined that everyone is safe, it’s time to clean up. Hurricane cleanup comes in many different varieties because there are so many different types of damage that can occur. Our hurricane cleanup tips are designed to give you a starting point and to help you navigate through the process.
Open all windows and doors. Water damage is a big concern and the faster you can remove that moisture and humidity, the better. Opening all windows and doors allows for the free passage of air to affected areas. Open interior home doors as well — even cupboard doors.
Protect yourself. If there is visible mold growth then it’s time to wear rubber gloves and respiratory masks. Even if there isn’t mold, you’ll probably want a good pair of gloves and sturdy shoes.
Remove unsalvageable items. Your local government will give you information on where to place debris, but in the meantime, it’s best to move it out of the house. Take pictures of unsalvageable items and check with your insurance company to see if they want you to hold onto them until an adjuster can come and evaluate the damage.
Action for flooded houses. If your home has flooded then all damaged rugs, carpets and carpet padding should be photographed and removed. Water damaged sheet rock and insulation also needs to be cut about four inches above the water line and removed as well.
Disinfect and sanitize. The rule of thumb when cleaning household mold and water damaged areas is to mix one cup bleach to one gallon water. A spritzer bottle works well to evenly distribute the mixture. If you want to step up your game, try a disinfectant or sanitizer that is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be used in flood-impacted buildings.
Contact your American Family Insurance agent to get more information on documenting the damage. Visit the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety for more tips on recovering from a natural disaster.