What is the Water Damage Cleanup Process After a Tornado?

Going through a natural disaster like a tornado can be pretty traumatic. Even if you went to a storm shelter instead of staying home, the damage you’ll see when you return could be enough to shake you to your core. Tornados can uproot trees, knockdown power lines resulting in power outages, and sometimes even cause fire damage. 

mold_on_wall[1].jpgYour priority in any natural disaster is to stay safe. Severe storms are unpredictable, and you should seek shelter immediately when one is on the way. You can worry about the potential damage to your personal property later. Most insurance companies cover a considerable amount of tornado damage, which will help you deal with damage repair costs. 

What to do Before Cleanup

The last thing you want to worry about in the aftermath of a tornado is cleaning up everything it has destroyed. Still, the damage to your homes has already occurred, and all you can do is work toward restoring your property so that you can get back to life as you know it. It’s a good idea to get this over with as soon as possible so you can focus on other things.

It’s best to be safe, so don’t jump in head-first as soon as you get home. You should consult a professional regarding assessing the damage before entering your home. The wind damage and shrapnel may have caused structural damage or roof damage, which would make entering your home unsafe. Do not enter your home until an emergency services professional has deemed it safe to do so. 

High winds can cause structural damage, fallen trees, and downed power lines, further damaging your home. Your insurance company may cover part of this replacement cost as well, depending on your contract. If you sustained flood damage, you need to review your policy immediately and see how to file an insurance claim. You should also make sure you have some form of tornado insurance ahead of time, just to make sure.

Call an insurance adjuster to assess the damage, help you figure out your covered loss, and file damage claims. Take detailed photos to document the damage- you will need these for your claim. 

What You’ll Need

Several things could be health hazards when cleaning up after a tornado. Flood water resulting from a tornado can cause water damage, but did you know that standing water left behind could be dangerous? It may be contaminated or make contact with a downed power line, resulting in a shock hazard. 

Therefore, it’s essential to have the right gear before you begin cleanup. You should cover as much of your skin as possible, wearing long sleeves, long pants, protective footwear, gloves, eye protection, face coverings, and construction helmets. 

Next, you’ll need basic tools and supplies for property damage and tornado aftermath cleanup. These include rubber gloves, buckets, cleaning solutions (soap, disinfectant), sponges, mops, brooms, vacuums, a shop vac, and extra heavy-duty trash bags.

How to Clean up after a Tornado

It’s often best to work in sections because tackling the whole house at once can become overwhelming. Ask friends, family, or anyone you trust to help to keep this process from taking its toll.

Working section by section, start with the most prominent issues first, such as clearing debris and rubble from your path. Take it slow and take breaks to avoid overworking yourself. Remember to breathe, and don’t focus on everything you have left to do. Focus your attention on everything you are able to save and all of the progress you’ve made so far. 

Air out the building as long as you can before starting, especially if your home suffered flood damage. Inhaling residue or contaminants from any standing water may cause health issues, especially if you have any preexisting lung conditions. If the tornado caused flood damage, the first thing to do is remove all of the water to prevent further damage— plus, you don’t want to stand in puddles while you clean.

Mold_Attic-600x333.jpgNext, clean out any dirt or mud, pull up damaged carpet, and remove large, irreparable items you need to dispose of. Once these things have been taken care of, the hardest part is over. Cleaning your home’s hard surfaces is an excellent next step. Clean off the walls first, then tackle counters, cabinets, appliances, working your way from top to bottom. Dry out any surfaces that absorb water, so that they don’t get moldy or musty. Once they are dry, you can worry about sanitizing and disinfecting them. Trying to clean them while wet will be ineffective, which is why it’s so important to dry your house before trying to clean it.

Get Help with AdvantaClean

If this all sounds like too much work, or if you still don’t know how to get started, we can help. We have years of experience addressing storm, flood, fire, and mold damage in both homes and businesses. To get help with water and structural damage caused by a tornado, call AdvantaClean at (877) 800-2382 today