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Tips to clean up flood-damaged homes

Posted: Updated:
Parts of St. Charles underwater. Parts of St. Charles underwater.
SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The Saginaw County Department of Public Health is urging residents to follow recommended clean-up procedures for homes that have water damage following recent flooding in the area.

The department said all flood waters should be considered contaminated and extreme caution should be considered during clean-up.

If you have a private water well that was affected by flood waters, you should have your well water tested before drinking or bathing. Such testing can be done via the Health Dept. Laboratory if residents provide collections bottles for sampling. They can be reached by calling 989-758-3825.

Electrical hazards can be present if the home or basement flooded or if the water recently receded. Officials recommend waiting until all the water has receded before attempting any restoration work, and turn off the circuit breakers on any electrical outlets that may have been flooded.

Another recommendation is to wear disposable gloves during clean-up, and wear old shoes or rubber boots.

A big risk to flooded homes is mold, which can cause serious health problems. Residents are urged to remove any standing water and dry indoor areas. Throw away anything that cannot be thoroughly dried. Moveable items should be put outside to dry, as exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays will naturally disinfect the surfaces.

Walls and floors should be washed with soap and warm water and disinfected by using an antibacterial disinfectant.

Officials say electrical appliances, upholstered furniture, carpeting and non-canned foodstuffs that were flooded are not salvageable and must be thrown away.

Anyone with questions can call 989-758-3636 or visit the Flood Information section on the www.saginawpublichealth.org website.

Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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