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Hurricane Irene Clean-up Efforts

Posted on August 29, 2011

While Hurricane Irene didn’t exactly live up to all the media hype, she certainly still left her mark across the eastern United States in the form of widespread power outages and severe flooding. We hope that everyone heeded the cautions and evacuation warnings and stayed safe!


As the lights come back on and the waters recede, here are some hurricane clean-up tips.

  • Run your generator outside; exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide which can be deadly.
  • Check your foundation, roof and chimney for cracks. Leave the house if you suspect something may collapse.
  • If appliances are wet, turn off the electricity source to the house. Unplug appliances and let them dry. Have a professional check appliances and the electrical system before restoring power.
  • If pipes are damaged, turn off the main water valve. Check with local authorities before using the water — it may be contaminated.
  • Pump out wells and have the water tested by authorities before drinking.
  • Basement walls can collapse if the room is pumped out too quickly. Remove only about a third of the water per day. Nilfisk ALTO’s Attix 19 FloodSucker Vacuum is a unique sump pump vacuum that quickly and simultaneously collects and discharges water. Check with your nearest Nilfisk ALTO distributor for details.
  • Remove wet wallpaper and saturated drywall; it is a breeding ground for mold.
  • Use wet/dry vacuum cleaners to collect small amounts of water; HEPA filter vacuums should be used in any areas where mold is suspected (when removing drywall). We recommend the Nilfisk Eliminator I and Nilfisk Eliminator II or the Nilfisk ALTO Attix 30 HEPA and Nilfisk ALTO Attix 50 HEPA.
  • Disinfect anything with bleach or other household disinfectant that may have been touched by raw sewage or floodwaters.
  • Ask a contractor or building inspector to check for mold damage after a flood.
  • Take pictures of damage, record your cleanup costs and call your insurance company.