In March 2022, many suburbs across Sydney, and nearby regions, experienced the worst flooding on record, with thousands of homes and businesses impacted. Unpredictable weather systems created severe storms, flash flooding and even tornadoes, leaving devastation in its wake. Although it didn’t take long for the cleanup to begin, it is expected to continue well into the future for some regions. For others, it could be just a matter of time before another weather event like this happens again. Whether you’re still cleaning up, or you want to be prepared for future flood damage, here’s our guide on how to go about the cleanup, and our top tips for waste removal and disposal.
The Dangers Of Floods
The loss of homes and businesses is certainly one of the most devastating aspects of floods, but there are underlying issues as well that can wreak havoc on Sydney landscapes for years to come. Unfortunately, with floods comes debris, and if that debris isn’t cleaned up properly, it can quickly impact the local waterways, groundwater systems, and connecting aquatic habitats.
And while this article will focus on the debris you can see, there are other hidden dangers as well. The water may contain a range of impurities, including toxic substances and chemical waste. Bacteria and pesticides are among the pollutants found in floodwater, as well as algae and phytoplankton. And of course, as older buildings collapse under the pressure of the turning weather, asbestos also becomes a major health hazard.
How To Help With Flood Clean Up
If you want to get cleaning, you need to be prepared. Here’s what you need to know.
Don’t enter flood waters. Wait for the water to recede!
Flood waters might seem like a simple river running through the streets, but they’re much more than that. From raw sewage rushing through homes, to broken wood and sharp nails hiding under the water and mud, it’s imperative that if you’re attempting a cleanup, you’re protected.
Always wear protective equipment for all tasks. This includes tough boots that can protect from tetanus if you were to stand on rusty nails, long pants and long sleeves to protect from bugs, dust and debris, eye protection and gloves to protect from chemicals. You should also wear a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent. Mozzies love dirty water.
Keep an eye out for dangers and hazards.
This could include snakes, spiders and other animals that have taken up residence in your home. It could also be power lines that have fallen (call energy authorities asap – never touch a fallen power line), or trees that could fall without warning.
Make sure you don’t touch any electricals that may have been exposed to water, unless all power to the property is turned off first. And all electrical equipment (including vacuum cleaners) should be dried and checked by an electrician before you start using it again.
Don’t let kids assist with the cleanup.
There’s too much danger involved when cleaning up after a flood and children running around could pose more risk – to themselves, to your safety, and to the home’s foundations.
Dealing With Rubbish
There is a lot of hazardous material in the trash left over after a flood, so before you start touching everything and trying to dispose of it yourself – consider the risks.
For example, if you happen upon some asbestos lying in the wake of the floods, the best advice is to simply walk away. Don’t touch it. If you touch it before realising, wash your hands immediately and change your clothes. Use a damp rag to pat any dust away. When dealing with asbestos you should always have full PPE on, make sure it is wet before you touch it, and keep other people away from it. The best idea, though, is to call someone who is trained to deal with it instead.
Your Best Option
The correct disposal of rubbish is crucial in the clean-up, particularly when it comes to hazardous material. Your best bet is to get the help of a rubbish removal professional. Why? Because they KNOW rubbish and they know what they can and can’t handle (which isn’t much!). And better still, they can dispose of your rubbish fast.
Rubbish removal companies like Cheapest Load of Rubbish are on board and available to assist – ensuring all rubbish is disposed of in a proper manner. If goods are salvageable, they will be taken care of. If they can be recycled, Cheapest Load of Rubbish are on hand to distribute them to local recycle centres. If rubbish is posing a danger and needs careful handling, it’s best to leave that to the professionals as well.
Don’t try to take care of rubbish cleanup yourself. Call in the professionals at Cheapest Load of Rubbish to assist and you’ll receive fast, efficient service.