Cleaning up after a flood
It is important to remove flood damaged items from your home as they can pose a serious health risk to you and your family.
Here are some tips for cleaning up your home and property.
Personal safety while cleaning up
- Wear rubber gloves, sturdy footwear, long-sleeved top and trousers.
- Wear a face mask (such as a blue surgical mask used to protect against COVID-19).
- Cover any cuts and grazes you may have to avoid them becoming infected.
- Ensure you have a shovel to remove any contaminated material.
Mould and fungi damage
You need to dry and clean flood damaged properties as soon as possible to reduce the risk of mould and fungi damage.
To help dry your home you should:
- remove soft furnishings from your home and clean and disinfect them where possible
- ventilate and/or heat the home to allow drying to occur as quickly as possible
- remove and discard contaminated household materials that cannot be cleaned or disinfected, such as mattresses, carpet and children's soft toys.
Throw away all food and drinking water that has had contact with flood water, including things stored in containers.
DO NOT eat garden produce if the soil has been flooded. Clean up and remove debris and sprinkle gardens with lime.
Other things to consider
If your gas meter has been affected by flood water or debris, contact your gas supplier.
If you have an onsite wastewater system that has been affected by flood water, contact your service engineer or supplier.
Keep children and animals away from previously flooded areas until they have been cleaned and made safe.
Making a flood related insurance claim
If your home, car, or contents have been damaged by the severe weather, take photos before you remove or repair anything and report it to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Once you contact your insurance company, they will let you know what you need to do next, how to claim and, if applicable, how Earthquake Cover from Toka Tū Ake Earthquake Commission works.
If you need to make your home safe, sanitary, secure, and weather tight:
- record the work done
- take before and after photos
- keep copies of the bills you paid.
Rebuilding your home after a flood
When repairing or rebuilding your home after a flood, consider the possibility of future flooding events and choose materials that will minimise internal damage.
Civil Defence offer advice to help rebuild your home if you live in a flood prone area.
- habitable floor heights
- placement of electrical outlets
- recommended wall and floor coverings.
Visit Reduction: Reduce the impacts of floods for more information.