Cleaning Up After Storms

This year’s storm season has been brutal in America. Wildfires, hurricanes and floods have battered much of the country. If your home or property is affected, cleaning up after the devastation can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there are ways to make huge jobs a bit more manageable.


First, attend to anything that affects your health or safety. Look for power lines that may have become loose. A rotten egg smell may signify a gas leak. Avoid contact with standing water which may be polluted with hazardous materials. When you first enter a building, wear a hard hat until you are sure it is structurally sound.

Second, look your home over from top to bottom. Contact a residential roofing St Louis professional to inspect your roof and make any repairs necessary. Check walls for cracks, holes or other damage. Make sure doors and windows close completely; examine seals that may be compromised or torn.

Lastly, examine the foundation of your home. If you have a basement, inspect the walls and floors as well as the steps leading downstairs. There should be no cracks or signs of moisture. If you have a crawl space, you may prefer to have a professional do the inspection, rather than attempting to navigate around ducts and pipes yourself. Slab foundations can be a challenge, but be sure to examine the perimeter looking for weak spots and crumbling corners.

Gather Materials

Once you know what needs to be done, gather the necessary equipment, tools and gear. Leave the dangerous tasks and big jobs to the professionals, but tackle the smaller chores yourself. Use heavy garden gloves, long pants, rubber boots and safety glasses when cleaning up downed fences and other yard debris. Do not touch anything that may be in contact with a power line or sewer pipe.

It is essential to have help when you lift heavy or bulky items such as large tree limbs. Friends and neighbors may be willing to work with you on your property if you return the favor. Use power tools such as chainsaws with caution. Always have someone standing by in case of an emergency.

Take Breaks

You are doing hard physical labor, often in adverse weather. Working for hours at a time in hot, humid conditions can lead to dehydration. Inhaling soot and fire retardant may make breathing difficult. Even if the weather is fine, you may be dealing with emotional trauma over the destruction of your home. Set a timer and take at least one five-minute break each hour. During the break, drink water and stretch. Remember that your well-being is more important than any of the possessions you may have lost.

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