Flood Water Cleanup How-To


With recent California rains, you may have experienced water flooding into some part of your home or business. This can cause long-term damage if not rapidly acted on as well as increased illness due to contamination in the water that has flooded your buildings.

Empire has put together some tips to help you in cleaning-up recent flood waters.

You will need to have several products on hand for this, along with various pieces of equipment, depending on the extent of your flooding. This may include carpet blowers and flood drying fans, dehumidifiers, wet tank vacuums or extractors, general all-purpose cleaner, disinfectants, enzymatic cleaners, wet floor signs  and safety supplies .

The following basic steps will help you to handle the clean-up needed as a result of flood waters:


Get a quick assessment of the initial damage. If there is extensive flooding, you may need a wet/dry vacuum, like the one below, to clean up the excess water. You want to be sure that you handle the job professionally with the proper materials and equipment.


Eliminate the source of the water that is entering the area. For example, if you have water coming in from a break in the foundation, block this with sandbags on an immediate basis, while making plans to get the area properly repaired. Take whatever measures are necessary to eliminate the flow of water into the facility.

Remove the excess water that has accumulated. Based on the amount of water in the area, utilize a standard wet pick-up vacuum to clean up smaller areas. If you are facing major flooding, then you need a professional grade water removal machine that can recover and pump out water concurrently. This will help you remove large volumes of water in a fast and efficient manner.

Clarke® Summit Pro® 18SQ Wet/Dry Vacuum


Dry all moisture from the area. Once you’ve mopped up all the water, utilize a multi-purpose air mover/dryer to speed up the drying time when moisture levels are high, or if flooding has introduced an excessive amount of water into the area. If the rain has stopped, open windows to allow for increased air circulation and a faster drying time. Your aim is to dry the area out as fast as possible.

If you are facing a large area damaged by flooding, then you need to seal off the affected area, and use a professional grade dehumidifier with several air moving fans to remove moisture from the area. Our air mover/dryer is perfect for this type of work as its designed to quickly and effectively dry carpets and floors. It has 3 speeds and weighs 50% lighter compared to traditional air movers. This is an important step as getting rid of all the water and drying out the area is the most important thing you can do to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.


Prevent future mold or mildew issues. Once the area is dry and the water/moisture removed, the accumulated dirt and debris must be removed with a general all-purpose cleaner.


Disinfect all areas affected by the flood waters. This includes walls and wood and non-upholstered furniture that sat in flood water. Use a good disinfectant to get rid of any bacteria that might have come up through sewers, toilets, etc.At the same time, proper chemicals aimed at preventing mold or mildew from developing need to be applied to the affected areas. Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Sanitizing Spray is a great product that will not only disinfect the area but it will also inhibit the future growth of mold and mildew.

We also recommend testing for mold several months down the road so as to prevent any discomfort or illness that might afflict employees or individuals exposed to the area.


Repair damaged area. Now that the area is cleaned up, determine if you need the help of a professional contractor to repair or renovate the damaged spaces and get these scheduled and done. Be sure to address any upgrades or repairs to include the source of the flooding so you prevent any future occurrences.

Contact Empire Cleaning Supply directly for any further questions on how to handle situations with regards to recent flooding.

Empire Cleaning Supply

7733 Telegraph Road
Montebello, CA 90640