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When Is It Safe to DIY Flood Cleanup?

A couch and some chairs are floating in floodwaters.

Flood restoration and cleanup are two very different things, both with their own sets of risks when attempting to do them by yourself. Whether or not it’s safe to do flood cleanup on your own depends largely on what kind of water you have, where it is, and whether you have electronics in the area where the water is. Depending on the answers to those questions, it may or not be safe to take care of the cleanup. Here are a few ways to tell if it’s safe to perform cleanup on your own or if you should call a professional to help. 

Clean Water: Safe

Clean water is one of the three main types of water. “Clean,” in this context, does not mean filtered or safe to drink, it simply means that it hasn’t come into contact with any contaminants, such as sewage, oils, or chemicals. Rainwater, for example, is generally considered clean water, as well as city water and spring water. If your home is flooded by rainwater or if your sink develops a leak and causes flooding in your bathroom, the water is likely to be safe to clean up by yourself.

Greywater: Proceed With Caution

Greywater is water that has been used but has not come into contact with fecal matter, pathogens, or toxic chemicals. Bath or shower water would be an example of greywater. It may contain soap, hair, body oils, or other substances that would make the water unsafe to drink but not unsafe to touch. If greywater causes flooding in your home, you can safely perform flood cleanup by yourself, but you may want to use protective equipment such as gloves and rubber boots. Greywater isn’t dangerous, but it can be a bit gross to work with.

Blackwater: Stay Away!

Blackwater is the most dangerous type of water, and you should never attempt to clean it up by yourself. Blackwater has come into contact with toxic chemicals or fecal matter. Sewage and floodwater from natural disasters are both categorized as black water. Interacting with this type of water carries risks to your health and your family’s health, and it can also cause more extensive damage to your home and belongings than other types of water.

Watch Out For Safety Risks

Whether or not it’s safe to attempt flood cleanup by yourself comes down to more than just the type of water that caused the flooding. Make sure the electricity is off before you even attempt to enter the flooded room or area of the house. If the electricity is on, do not enter the flooded area. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, and you could be electrocuted. You should also make sure that the flooded area is safe to walk in and take extreme caution while you’re in there. Slips and falls are all too common. Be extra cautious around stairs or smooth-surface floors! Hang onto railings when you can, and wear shoes or boots with a good grip while you clean. 

Do You Need Flood Cleanup Services?

Americon Restoration can help! We specialize in flooding, water damage, and severe weather damage. We know you may have concerns about COVID-19 and we want to assure you that we are doing everything in our power to keep our employees and our customers healthy and safe. Americon Restoration is taking all necessary precautions before entering our customers’ homes and closely following CDC guidelines. We want you and your family to feel safe and stay healthy! Please contact us through our website or by phone at (216) 221-5200.