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Help and Advice on Cleaning after Flooding

Help and Advice on Cleaning after Flooding

21st September 2012


Flooding is no longer a rare seasonal occurrence, it is unfortunately
occurring throughout the year in many parts of the country. The
Environment Agency and Local Authorities issue advice on dealing with
flood damage and that advice includes the use of standard household
products to clean and disinfect contaminated items and surfaces. This
document expands on that information and offers practical advice on the
best method.

If you are in a flood risk area it is recommended you register with the
Environment Agency or Local Authority for advanced flood warnings.


In normal situations we would always recommend cleaning followed by
disinfecting. However, where items and surfaces are, or are suspected
of, being contaminated, it is important to disinfectant before cleaning
in order to reduce the risk of spreading the contamination and also
protect the operative. It will then be necessary to carry out a final
disinfecting procedure.

·Floodwater is highly likely to contain a range of pathogenic
organisms from sewers and animal waste which are a severe health risk,
so good hygiene practice is important.

·It is essential to wear gloves and a facemask when cleaning contaminated surfaces.

·Do not use high-pressure washers as this can spread contamination to other surfaces and the cleaning operative.

·Dispose of used disinfectant to the drain and cloths or paper towels in general waste.


After gloves are removed wash hands with soap and clean water, if
available, and dry thoroughly. The use of a suitable hand cleaning wipe
may be used if water is not available. It is also advisable to use an
alcohol based hand sanitiser after washing and drying to further reduce
any possible contamination, this is particularly important when the
water available for washing hands may not be of drinking quality.

Evans Handsan alcohol hand rub is a suitable product and has been tested
and shown to be effective against a wide range of harmful
micro-organisms (EN 1276, EN 1500).


If the floodwater has come into contact with kitchen surfaces or
equipment, apply a solution of disinfectant such as Evans Est-eem and
leave for at least 5 minutes. Small pieces of equipment should be soaked
in a solution of Evans Est-eem. Remove items from solution and
thoroughly clean using disposable cloths and a good heavy-duty hard
surface cleaner such as Evans Lift. Ensure that all surfaces are visibly
clean; repeat the procedure if required.

Finally disinfect using Evans Est-eem, apply liberally, leave for at
least 5 minutes and wipe with a clean cloth or paper towel. If the
quality of the water for dilution is suspect or water is not available
both products are available as ready to use formulations in trigger
spray bottles.


Laminate floors will most certainly be damaged by flood water whilst
paintwork, vinyl, ceramic floor & wall tiles may be renovated by
cleaning with a good hard surface cleaner such as Evans Lift or Evans
Versatile, followed by application of a suitable disinfectant such as
Evans Safe Zone (unperfumed) or Evans Protect (perfumed).

The areas should then be allowed to dry out to avoid possible mould and
fungal growth, which can cause health problems and damage surfaces.

If malodours are a problem the use of a perfumed disinfectant cleaner
such as Evans Protect followed by an application of Evans Odour
Neutraliser will help.


If carpets or suites can be rescued, the fabric and upholstery should be
cleaned using a hot water extraction machine with the appropriate
carpet and upholstery shampoo such as Evans Extract. Dispose of used
water from the machine to the drain, clean and disinfect the machine
after use with Evans Safe Zone or Evans Protect. Professional carpet
cleaning companies are readily available and should be contacted if help
is required.


Only attempt to clean and disinfect toys that have smooth accessible
surfaces. Toys that have been soiled should be soaked in a solution of
disinfectant such as Evans Safe Zone for at least 5 minutes before
cleaning with a hard surface cleaner, such as Evans Versatile. If the
toy cannot be soaked apply the disinfectant to all surfaces and leave
for at least 5 minutes before cleaning as above. Ensure that all
surfaces are visibly clean. Finally disinfect with a suitable
disinfectant such as Evans Safe Zone or Evans Protect.

Soft toys should be machine washed at 60ºC and left to air dry.

If you have been a victim of flooding and need to discuss any cleaning
and hygiene issues, please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone on
01772 322200 or e-mail: