Cleaning up after a flood

When cleaning up after a flood, wear protective clothing, such as sturdy footwear, loose long-sleeved shirts and trousers and heavy duty work gloves.

There may be asbestos debris in your home. Where there is extensive demolition, repair and renovation work involving asbestos-containing material, licensed asbestos contractors should be employed to undertake the work.

Flood recovery suggestions include:

  • Start cleaning up as soon as possible. Tackle one room at a time, making sure you are working in a well-ventilated area.
  • After talking with your insurer, as part of the clean-up, you should remove water-damaged possessions from the building (such as carpets and soft furnishings), and store these in a safe place. They may be required to be inspected as part of the claims process.
  • Sweep out water. Don’t forget to check for blocked drains in the shower and sinks.
  • Open doors and windows to help the house dry out. Open access doors to air the underfloor of your house too.
  • Consult with a building engineer to make sure your house is structurally sound.
  • Repainting and redecorating should be left for at least three months – until your house is thoroughly dried out. Painting or papering too soon may result in mould, blistering and peeling. Laying floor vinyl too soon may also trap moisture.

More information:

Emergencies - floods - Better Health Channel
After a flood – returning home safely - Better Health Channel
FAQs - After the flood(PDF, 100KB)