Our hearts go out to anyone who has been affected by the floods in Alberta. It’s very touching to see so many people coming together to lend a helping hand to their neighbours.
The following is advice for cleaning up the outside of your home and backyard that was damaged by flooding.
1. Clean or remove items that were contaminated by floodwater or mud.
Unfortunately, floodwater is contaminated with bacteria that can be harmful to humans and pets. Mix a sanitizer with water and use a pressure washer to clean off patio furniture and hard surfaces. If items such as outdoor rugs cannot be cleaned and sanitized, it’s better to get rid of the item to be safe.
2. Use a rake to scrape mud off entryways and gravel walkways.
Place a thin layer of new or clean stone over the areas. Light layers of new mulch can be added to plant areas as well to improve the immediate aesthetics.
3. Check your roof for damage from mud or excessive rain.
Your downspouts and eves may need repairs or replacing.
4. When it comes to plants, some are more likely to survive a flood than others.
After removing any dead or uprooted plants from your yard, examine the ones that are still standing. Deciduous trees will typically lose their current leaves during a flood, while evergreen leaves should remain intact. Fill a spray bottle with water and a ½ tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent. Wet the plants with plain water first, and then spray with detergent mixture. After approximately one minute, rinse the solution off with plain water again.
5. Examine electrical equipment.
If any outside electrical equipment such as outlets, meters, panels or breakers were submerged, have an electrician inspect the equipment before restoring power.
6. Flush your sprinkler system.
To flush your sprinkler system, turn off the water supply and open the drain valve to drain all of the water from the underground pipes. Remove and clean rotors and the inside of the sprinkler heads. Next, open all of the valves one at a time and turn on the system manually. Once the water has ran for five minutes, reinstall the sprinkler heads and run the entire system again for ten minutes.
Follow these steps to begin the recovery of your backyard that was affected by flooding. Once again, we extend our thoughts to anyone who was affected by the Alberta floods, and express our awe for the spirit our city has shown.
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