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Equipment for Entering and Cleaning Property

Equipment for Entering and Cleaning Flood-Damaged Property

Folks waiting for flood waters to recede can start preparing to clean up homes and property by locating and organizing essential tools and equipment. Below is a list of items recommended specifically for entering and cleaning up flood damaged property.

While some items may have to be borrowed or purchased, many are necessary for people's safety. All items should be in good working condition and durable. If you aren't familiar with or haven't operated some equipment, read the manufacturer's instructions and safety warnings prior to use.

For personal protection from contaminants like pesticides, bacteria, microorganisms, mold:

  • First aid kit
  • Goggles
  • NIOSH 95 and or NIOSH 100 Air Filter Masks
  • Half-face respirator rated for mold that use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cartridges
  • Protective clothing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, long rubber gloves, boots or shoes with hard, thick soles, waterproof over boots
  • Drinking water

For inspecting the premises:

  • Flashlights and fresh batteries
  • A wooden stick for turning things over and scaring away snakes and small animals

For making temporary repairs; cleaning up mud and debris:

  • Tools Crowbar, hammer, saws, pliers, crescent wrench, screwdrivers, etc
  • Tarps
  • Steel or aluminum scoop shovels
  • Large heavy-duty garbage bags

For cleaning up and drying out the home:

  • 6 or 9 mil plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape, wooden strips for tacking sheeting
  • Residential pressure washer
  • Multiple buckets for cleaning, rinsing and disinfecting surfaces
  • Cleaning mops, rags, bristle brushes
  • Non-phosphate, all-purpose detergent like Borax
  • Household disinfectants (look for words sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach), quaternary ammonium compound, phenolic-phenol, or pine-oil on labels)
  • Clean, pure water
  • Sand paper for cleaning wood studs
  • New or never-been-used garden sprayer
  • Fans
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Hygrometer or relative humidity gauge
  • Moisture meter
  • Padlocks, door locks and dead bolts

Additional equipment:

  • Gas-powered generator
  • Heavy-duty extension cords
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters for use with extension cords
  • HEPA-filtered vacuum for cleaning dry surfaces (optional)

For more information about entering and cleaning up a flood damaged home or property review University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension NebGuide, G2108: Entering and Cleaning Up a Flood Damaged Home.