Experts agree that just about the best way to clean up a flooded house and prevent the growth of mold is to scrub with bleach. The Houston Department of Health and Human Services offers these detailed instructions:
First, wash surfaces with soap and warm clean water to remove dirt and debris.
Next, sanitize surfaces with household bleach. Clean it with a solution of 1 cup household liquid bleach per 5 gallons of water.
- Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed
- Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected area
- Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as, mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and most paper products)
- Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters
- Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent
- Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers