Preserving Your Business Assets: 4 Tips for Cleaning up Your Property After a Flood

Preserving Your Business Assets: 4 Tips for Cleaning up Your Property After a Flood

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Although we all want what’s best for our business, sometimes natural disasters can cause major setbacks. Floods are just one of the many things that can hamper our business. The truth is, floods can happen anytime, anywhere, even if Mother Nature is not to blame. In fact, according to American Rivers, flood loss damages have increased to approximately $10 billion per year.

If you’ve recently encountered a flood on your business property, there are some important things to know to keep yourself and your property safe financially and physically. Keep in mind the following tips before cleaning up your property after a flood.

1. Before entering your property, turn off all gas and electricity.

All electrical systems must be deactivated before you even enter your place of business after it’s been flooded out. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has a PDF guide that provides thorough tips on handling electrical equipment that has been exposed to water.

Never make the assumption that it’s safe to turn the power back on. It’s important that you have a certified electrician come out to verify that it’s safe to do so. When in doubt, always let the professionals handle it to be safe rather than sorry.

2. Contact your insurance agent.

Always call your business insurance agent before touching or moving anything on your property. Make a list of everything that was damaged and how much it’s worth. Also, be sure to take plenty of quality photos and/or videotape your place of business for proof of damage.

3. Protect yourself with the right gear prior to cleaning up.

As you’re cleaning up, it’s crucial that you wear the right gear to keep yourself safe, just as professional flood response workers would. Safety glasses; waterproof gloves; a protective head cover; water-tight boots with steel toes, shanks, and insoles; a mask; and form-fitting clothing with long sleeves are some vital gear.

4. Use bleach to disinfect walls, baseboards, and flooring.

There are differences between cleaners, sanitizers, and disinfectants. Using a disinfectant such as bleach is critical to prevent or kill mildew, bacterial spores, and odor after water or moisture comes in contact with your walls, baseboards, and flooring after a tragic flood. Leave bleach on for two minutes before wiping away. Leave doors and windows open to air out the fumes.


Even if one’s business is not in a high-risk flood zone, there is still a risk of flooding whether it is caused by Mother Nature or due to a water leak, for instance. Regardless of the cause, always contact your insurance agent; turn off all gas and electricity before cleaning your property; protect yourself with the right gear; and use bleach to disinfect walls, floors, and baseboards.

Even if you are not able to preserve your business assets or receive compensation from your insurance company for the flood damages, the least that can be done is keeping yourself and your property as safe as possible through the process of cleaning up.

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