Safety Tips for Drying Out a Flooded Building

Drying out a flooded building is a process that is both labor-intensive and time consuming. However, it’s absolutely necessary to be proactive in this situation. Without decisive action, water damage can ruin a structure.

Before you start, it’s important to take a number of safety concerns into consideration. From the presence of bacteria in the water to potentially dangerous situations involving electricity, you need to be prepared for everything before you begin. In this week’s blog, we’re going to talk about the safety precautions you should take before beginning work on drying out a flooded building.

Safety Tips for Drying Out a Flooded Building


Electricity and water do not mix. Assume all downed power lines are live. Turn off the power to the entire building before you begin work. If you have any doubt about your safety in a situation with regards to electricity, play it safe. Don’t take any unnecessary risks.

Gas Leaks

Gas leaks are another safety hazard in flooded buildings. In this case, the nose knows. Smell for the odor of leaking natural gas before beginning work. If you do detect a gas leak, contact your local utility and do not continue work until the problem has been addressed.


Flood waters often bring organic matter into the building. This includes things like animal waste or sewage, which will contaminate the building. Bacteria will rapidly multiply in standing floodwaters. Assume all standing water is contaminated. This means you will need to wear protective gear when working in spaces where there is standing water. This includes protection for the eyes, mouth and hands. It’s also smart to wear a rubber coverall to prevent water from coming into contact with any part of your body.

Structural Damage

Do an assessment of the structural integrity of the building prior to the cleanup process. If it is determined to be structurally unsound, do not proceed.

When in Doubt, Play it Safe

If you have any doubts as to your safety with regard to any of the situations outlined above, play it safe, and don’t take any unnecessary risks.

flood damage

What’s the safety issue in this picture? The lights are on.

About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 26th, 2015 at 5:12 pm.