Heavy overnight rain led to flooding in various parts of Chennai on November 7, 2021. Tamil Nadu has received  43% surplus rainfall and Chennai, in particular, registered  26% excess rain since October this year. 

It’s daunting to see signs of flooding in your home, like standing water or water stains on the walls. It’s important to prepare and plan for how you’re going to deal with the damage.

Start with these tips to help you clean up following the calamity. 


  1. Wear Protective Gear.

Your safety should be your priority. The water may have been contaminated with sewage or other effluents and the structure may not be safe.

When you’re cleaning up after a flood, always wear protective equipment like a well-ventilated mask like an N95, eye protection without holes, long pants, sleeves and gloves. Wear rubber boots to help avoid shocks and protect your feet. 

Assemble an essential first-aid kit for minor injuries that you may incur while cleaning.

  1. Drain the Water. 

After flooding, it’s important to drain as much of the water as possible as quickly as possible.

Use a bucket or other container to get rid of the water. Shovel mud and debris while it’s wet or it will create a crust in your home.

A few tablespoons of Sodium Polyacrylate can effectively absorb water. It is a polymer compound that absorbs water and turns into a solid lump that can be easily disposed of.  It’s highly affordable and safe to use absorbent.

  1. Clean and Dry Out the Walls.

Your home needs to be dry from the inside out before you inhabit it. Rinse the walls several times and then clean and disinfect them. Start at the bottom and work upward using chlorine bleach. 

It’s important to remove wall coverings like paneling and wallpaper, as well as insulation, up to at least the highest visible water line. Even though plaster may survive brief water exposure, the wall cavity must be dried quickly.

  1. Keep your house ventilated.

Flooding can also contaminate the air in your home, bringing in germs and pests. When you’re cleaning, keep all the fans running and use all ventilators to keep the air moving and discourage mould growth. Mount box fans in the windows and set them to blow air out to help extract dirt, dust and mould spores.

  1. Cleaning and disinfecting items. 

Clean, sanitize and dry every hard surface using a product that kills germs. A cleaning product will simply remove dirt from surfaces, so sanitise products with a cleaner that contains bleach. Chlorine bleach disinfectants, used in diluted form, may also be used to rinse carpets and furniture. All-purpose detergents work well on textiles. If items made of wool or silk are damaged, confer with a professional dry cleaner.

The total drying time depends on the type of materials used to build the house. It also depends on the amount of air circulation and the moisture content in the air. Depending on the duration of flooding and the building materials and type of construction of the house, total drying time may take longer. In your efforts to clean your houses, we hope our tips help you. 

Floods can wash away everything but they cannot wash away the hope in our hearts.