SOURCE: Restoration Industry Association

Restoration Industry Association

September 08, 2011 13:37 ET

RIA Recommendations for After the Flood

Association Provides Practical Tips for Flood Cleanup

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - Sep 8, 2011) - With several inches already on the ground and more in the weather forecast, the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) has these tips for residents impacted by the flooding:

  • Make sure gutters are free of debris so they drain properly.
  • Direct downspouts so that water drains away from the foundation of the house and any below grade openings.
  • In basements or below grade areas, raise items at least 2-3 feet off of the ground or higher.
  • Store papers and other items that could be impacted by water in plastic containers and/or move them to upper floors in the building.
  • Walk through the structure to see what could be impacted by unexpected flooding.
  • Take photos of the area before there is any damage and keep these off site.
  • If you are impacted by flooding, notify your insurance company of the loss.
  • Keep a notebook to track dates and times of conversations with individuals pertaining to your claim.
  • Save receipts for meals, hotels, toiletries, replacement clothing, prescriptions, etc.
  • Take photos of each room for future reference and insurance claims. This provides a digital inventory of contents.
  • If electrical appliances, including televisions and computers are damaged by water, do not turn them back on when power is restored. This can result in electric shock and/or do further damage to the appliance. Electronics can often be cleaned & restored by knowledgeable contractors.
  • Drywall, insulation and carpeting/padding impacted by muddy water will probably need to be removed and replaced.
  • Beware of scammers offering restoration services. Check references and visit the Restoration Industry Association website - - to find a contractor.
  • Wear heavy rubber gloves or work gloves and thick-soled shoes, preferably not tennis shoes.
  • Wash hands frequently - especially before touching your face or eating.
  • Beware of muddy water - there can be sharp items such as broken glass, nails, etc.
  • Avoid cross contamination - don't wear dirty clothes or shoes into clean parts of the house.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Don't use bleach to disinfect. It is corrosive and can react with other substances. Use household disinfectants.
  • Open windows to ventilate the area. Open drawers and cabinets for interior drying, but don't force them open.
  • Remove standing water from flat surfaces by sponging and blotting.
  • Hard surfaces can be disinfected as well as some soft goods, depending on washability.
  • Transport computers and musical instruments to a dry environment.
  • Remove lamps and other items from wet furniture tops.
  • Dry out as much as you can to prevent further damage.

"RIA restoration firms throughout the Mid-Atlantic area have been fielding calls from homeowners and businesses since yesterday," said RIA's director of standards and communications, Patricia Harman. "They are well equipped to handle the volume of calls they are receiving and can provide assistance to help owners dry out their homes or businesses. I would caution consumers to beware of companies that spring up during events such as this. Make sure to check references and research any firm before hiring them."

For clean up tips, information on hiring a contractor, and restoration & remediation in general, visit the RIA website at and click on the Consumer link.

The Restoration Industry Association has member firms worldwide. RIA provides industry leadership, supports science, and promotes best practices for cleaning and restoration. More information is available on the RIA website:

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Patricia L. Harman
    Director of Standards & Communications
    Restoration Industry Association
    Cell: 410.456.3700
    Email Contact