Cleaning Up After A Natural Disaster

Natural Disaster

This information sheet is intended to give you an overview of the preferred solutions for cleaning up after a disaster.

Safety First

Always remember, safety comes first. Stay away from damaged buildings and structures until they have been examined and certified as safe by a building inspector or other government authority. Thorough cleaning and neutralizing of both the deposits and odours are required prior to any restoration.


Natural and manmade disasters are devastating and affect thousands of lives. If your house or business was in the path of a wildre, storm or flood, the cleanup process will require some special consideration.

Here are some clean-up recommendations and guidelines:

  • Wear personal protective gear, such as a dust mask, protective gloves, long sleeved shirt and pants to avoid skin contact.
  • Tackle one room at a time. Open windows to ventilate the area. Install a fan to circulate air.
  • Be careful next to electrical outlets as there may the risk of exposure to live wires.
  • When cleaning up after a fire, stay away from chlorine products as they could mix with retardants used to extinguish the fire.
  • Vinegar is a popular alternative cleaner, but will not be as thorough as other chemical solutions.
  • Remember to dilute – more is not always better.
  • Use the two-bucket method: one to clean and one to rinse.
  • Start by cleaning the bigger pieces first then move on to the smaller ones. Clean walls from top to bottom.

Three-Step Cleaning Process

  1. Clean the room or item.
  2. Disinfect it to kill germs and the smell left by flood waters or smoke.
  3. Eliminate mold and mildew if necessary.

Choosing the Right Product

Natural disasters can create two types of damage – the visible soil and the invisible odour. Choosing the right product can make the real difference in eliminating both the soils and odours and preventing them from coming back.

Here are a few tips that can make your clean up more successful:

  • Hard Surfaces: If soot is present on porous surfaces, we recommend the use of a dry chemical sponge to remove as much soot as possible.
  • Carpets: Before cleaning, carpets must be dry. Carpets might need to be cleaned twice.
  • Odours: To completely eliminate odours, they must be destroyed at their source. A thorough cleaning of the surface will prevent the odours from coming back.

Dustbane Product Recommendations

Problem ChemicalEquipment
Freezer/Fridge Oxy D.S.T.Wet/Dry Targa + HEPA Filter
Mold & Mildew Oxy D.S.T. or Triple Action Wet/Dry Targa + HEPA Filter
Soot (walls, floors, etc.) Emerald, Triple Action or Power Lift
Dust Oxy D.S.T. or Azure
Wet/Dry Targa + HEPA Filter
Smells Bio-Bac II or Disappear
Exterior (siding, cars, etc.) Power Wash
Carpet & Upholstery Oxy D.S.T. or Eco-Expert Wet/Dry Targa + HEPA Filter, Carpet Extractor
Disinfection UniTab or Quat Plus Victory Electrostatic Sprayers
Deodorizing Disappear
Fire Extinguisher Foam Oxy D.S.T. Wet/Dry Targa + HEPA Filter
Deceased Animals Bio-Bac II
Large Surface Areas Power Lift or Emerald Auto-Scrubber
Windows Magic or Azure
Metal Surfaces Oxy D.S.T. or Polar

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