Floods are New Zealand’s most frequent natural disaster, and they pose a far greater health risk than most assume.
Imagine this scene…
You’re preparing a lavish dinner for your closest family members with all the traditional holiday favourites, beautifully wrapped gifts encircle the tree decorated with decades of treasured ornaments. A fire burns away in the hearth while a fierce rainstorm beats against the living room windows. Just then, disaster strikes!!… The wind picks up, windows shatter, and a flood of water pours into your basement laundry room, along with mud, lawn fertilizer, engine oil from the adjacent garage, and a variety of toxic chemicals and cleaning products knocked about inside the room from the impact. The dangerous water makes it way through the hallways, entering bedrooms and soiling inches of carpet and furniture in its wake.
This can happen to you, and you need to be prepared in case it does.
Health Hazards of Household Flooding
Every type of flood—from catastrophic rainstorms, to hurricanes, to broken water mains, to malfunctioning household appliances—comes with its own set of challenges. The initial damage to your household belongings should not be your only concern; standing flood waters can potentially contain chemical hazards, cause injury, and spread infectious diseases. Carpet fibers can trap harmful toxins. Even the smallest amount of water sitting in your carpet can pose a health risk, lowering your home’s air quality and promoting the growth of mould and bacteria. It can even lead to structural damage to the hardwood or sub-floor beneath, eat away at structural supports, and can lead to cracks in your foundation.
What to do right after a flood (as recommended by Get Ready, NZ):
- Before touching anything, protect yourself by wearing a certified respirator, goggles, gloves, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and boots or work shoes.
- When things get wet for more than two days they usually get mouldy and there may also be germs and bugs in your home after a flood.
- Mould may make some people with asthma, allergies or other breathing problems sick.
- Talk to your doctor or another medical professional if you have questions about cleaning or working in a home that has been flooded. If there is a large amount of mould, you may want to hire professional help to clean up the mould.
- Throw away anything that was wet with flood water and can’t be cleaned.
- Throw away any wooden spoons, plastic utensils, and baby bottle teats and dummies if they have been covered by floodwater. There is no way to safely clean them.
- Disinfect metal pans and utensils by boiling them in clean water.
For information on flood preparedness, visit: https://getready.govt.nz/emergency/floods/
Roll Out an Action Plan
After a flood occurs, and after the safety of your family members is addressed, your carpet should be your number one concern. Auckland’s Flood Restoration and Response service is available 24/7! We will work quickly to restore your carpets from removing excess water and drying carpets, to lifting and re-laying your carpet. Our high-quality air movers and dehumidification equipment will pull the excess water from the carpet and air.
Our professionally trained water damage inspectors and technicians will quickly detect the source of the leak or irregular moisture and will propose the best solution to avoid further damage to your carpet, flooring, furniture and other household belongings. We’ll work with you to develop a strategy for cleanup, repair, and mould remediation if necessary, and will provide solutions to prevent water from entering the home in the future.
Rover to the Rescue!
Our proprietary water-sniffing, moisture-hungry, water-sucking machine Rover will remove the vast majority of water quickly. We’ll unleash Rover on your waterlogged carpets and save them from the destructive effects of long-term exposure to moisture.