Hurricane season brings the widespread flooding and record winds that wreak havoc on business buildings everywhere. Once the storm settles you might find yourself eager to get your business back up and running, but before you begin your post-hurricane cleanup, there are some important steps and safety precautions you should know. Here’s a guide to get your company back on track with the steps to clean your business after a hurricane or flooding:
1. Wait Until It’s Safe
The first and most important step in hurricane cleanup is staying safe. Resist the urge to immediately check up on your company’s office space or storefront, wait until the coast is clear to check out the scene. Hurricanes and flooding bring about all kinds of hazards so even if your business looks safe for entry, it might not be. Unstable building structures, gas leaks and floodwater contaminated with dangerous toxins or sewage are just some of the common after-effects of hurricanes. Take the necessary precautions and be sure that your business is safe enough for re-entry before going in to clean things up.
2. Bring the Right Equipment
Once your business property has been deemed safe for entry, you’ll need to bring the right gear. First and foremost, you’ll need gear for your own safety. This includes boots or closed-toed shoes to avoid any toxins in floodwater, protective clothing to cover skin and defend against any cuts or infections, gloves for hand protection and a face mask in case of a gas leak or exposed toxins. Next, you’ll need to bring gear to help with the cleanup process. Don’t forget to bring any cleaning solutions you might need, a mop, a broom, some cloths, and consider bringing a wet/dry vacuum cleaner and a dehumidifier if you have them at your disposal.
3. Assess the Damage
Once you’ve got the green light to go back into your business property and you’ve got all of your gear, it’s time to assess the damage. Take the time to carefully walk through your property and evaluate the damage. Understanding the full extent of damage will give you a good idea where to start with your cleaning routine and it will give you a better idea as to how long the repairs and cleaning process might take.
4. Remove Water and Dry Everything Out
The next step towards getting your business back out there is removing any lingering floodwater and drying everything out to start the cleaning process. If there is a lot of standing water, first be sure that it is safe to use electric devices, then use a utility pump for water removal or opt for a wet/dry vacuum that can quickly and easily remove water. For spot cleaning, use a mop or cloth to soak up any small water spots. Next, to avoid any mold growth, make sure your business space has ample time to dry. Be sure that standing water is completely removed from saturated surfaces like carpets and bring in a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process and to further prevent any mold growth.
6. Dispose of Damaged Items
Once all water has been removed, it’s time to get rid of anything that could be a hazard or any items that cannot be salvaged. Carefully clean up any broken glass or broken items by sweeping and then safely disposing of them. Then, go through your business and dispose of any items that did not safely weather the storm. This includes any broken and irreparable chairs or desks and any damaged paperwork or office supplies that cannot be repaired.
7. Start Cleaning
Now that you’ve cleared out your space and it’s free of any water, hazards and other miscellaneous items, it’s time to get cleaning. First, be sure to clean and dry any wet upholstered or wooden furniture to avoid any permanent damage. Next, give your business’s carpets and floors a deep clean and wipe down any metal objects or appliances with the appropriate cleaning solutions. Remember that floodwater can carry toxins and germs so be sure to clean off all affected items with a disinfecting solution. And last but not least, give all of your hard surfaces a thorough wipe down and get started rearranging your business furniture and office space back to its original state.
It takes a lot of time and effort to bounce back after a hurricane and/or flooding but following the right steps and cleaning processes is crucial not only for your business’s recovery but also for your own safety. If you’re unsure about implementing the post-hurricane cleanup process for your business, we’re here to help. Quick & Clean is a veteran-owned and operated commercial cleaning service that has the knowledge and experience to take on all of Tallahassee’s business cleaning needs. Give us a call at (850) 443-4848 to learn more or to schedule help with hurricane and/or flood cleanup for your business. Also, check our guide on how to make your business ready for a hurricane.