If you live in an area hit by severe weather, you may choose to do your own storm damage cleanup to get the job done fast. You may want to reconsider your decision. Even if your home or properly only faced a few problems, such as a felled tree or flooded living room, cleaning up the aftermath can be dangerous. You might encounter harmful pathogens that make you sick. In addition, trees can collapse during your cleanup and injure you. Here are reasons why you shouldn't do your own storm damage cleanup and what you can do instead.
Why Shouldn't You Do Your Own Storm Damage Cleanup?
Stormwater can contain a host of pathogens you can't see with the naked eye, including fecal matter, parasites and bacteria. Most of the pathogens come from raw sewage, sidewalks, soil and the city streets. If you use the incorrect cleanup strategy, equipment or tools, you may inadvertently introduce the pathogens into your digestive system and skin. You should also understand that some pathogens like toxic mold can cause respiratory problems or allergies if you inhale them. Pregnant women, individuals with weakened immune systems and children are especially vulnerable to mold allergies.
In addition to stormwater pathogens, attempting to lift, cut or remove fallen trees off your home, car or property can be dangerous as well. Even if your trees still attach to the ground by their roots, they may not be completely safe to work around. The roots may eventually rip loose from the ground and cause a tree to fall on you.
Storm-damaged trees can also fall on the power lines attached to your home or city street. Unless you can clearly see the power lines, it's a good idea that you avoid any fallen tree near your property. Some of the lines may lie hidden or entangled in the trees' branches and limbs.
There are safer ways to deal with your storm-damaged property and home.
What Can You Do Instead?
The first thing you might do is place cones or tape around the damaged areas to prevent anyone from entering them. If possible, place large signs in the areas to warn people of the dangers. Next, contact a storm damage cleanup company for help.
A cleanup company will generally access your home and property to see how much damage they sustained from the storm. Contractors may choose to remove the most dangerous problems first, such as your fallen trees and power lines. The next step may involve drying out your flooded living room and other affected locations in the home. Pathogens can potentially grow in your home 24-36 hours after a flood.
After the cleanup, you may want to dehumidify your home as an extra precaution against mold and bacterial growth. Dehumidification means to make the air in your home as dry as possible. If you're not sure how to proceed with this process, consult with your contractors immediately.
For assistance with your storm damage cleanup, contact a service such as Smitty's Tree Service Inc.