Items to bring with you when you clean
From Hurricane Harvey Disaster Helper
- Mold Mask with Cartridges or N95 Filter Mask
- Kleenex & Vaseline - if you place a small amount inside the nostrils to catch mold spores and dust as an added benefit and if you don't have your mask on.
- Vicks Vapor Rub - Place under your nose to cut the smell while in the home.
- Nasal Spray and Allergy Meds
- Heavy Trash bags (Contract Bags)
- Work and latex gloves
- Crowbar - to remove floor trim. You need to start from there to remove drywall. You could use a screwdriver, but it's difficult and you would break the screwdriver handle.
- Wet Vacs - If available. These will help to suck out all the water once carpets and padding are removed.
- Heavy Paper Towels/Shop Rags/Large Sponges
- Powerwashing equipment
- Utility Knives/Drywall Cutters - The usual retractable utility knife will do. However drywall is thick and hard. A few swipes of regular utility knife and the blade dulls out. Drywall knives are more sturdier and stay sharper longer.
- Circular Saws
- Spray Bottle & Buckets
- Measuring Tape - This is not my expertise but I saw anyone who needed to remove the drywall having it removed at atleast 4 ft from the floor. This is because drywall comes in 4 ft by x-ft sections. Makes it easier for the contractor. The tape will help you measure it out.
- Power Drill - To remove electrical cover plates and remove doors. Makes it much faster to use a drill. Run it on low torque and speed setting or you will strip out screw heads before you get anywhere.
- Wheelbarrow - If available. Water soaked carpet and padding is h-e-a-v-y, like you wouldn't imagine. Wheelbarrows will help haul that all to the curb.
- I cannot stress that enough based on how I've seen people come out today. Everyone has been told to wear gloves, shoes, and mask. While this is in good intention, the important specifics about "gloves", "shoes", and "mask" are being missed out.
- Power off - Before you start removing drywall, make sure the power is off. You don't want to break the wall and realize (the hard way) that there was an electrical line right behind it. It's ok if the electrical line gets cut. They can repair that. If you are electrocuted, ... yeaaaaah. I'm sure there's no repair for that! Although you don't need to do this for just removing carpet and padding, I would rather not take the chance. Doing work in a flooded home - Kill power. Period.
- Glove - Use cut and impact resistant gloves; not medical nitrile gloves (at least not by itself). If you will be moving heavy stuff around, those nitrile gloves don't do squat. A good pair of impact resistant gloves will cost maybe $15 (or upwards). Spend the money. These are your fingers you are trying to protect. If you will be cutting up carpet or padding, you'll need to use sharp blades and those will slip on wet carpets. What I did today was I wore nitrile gloves and then wore impact resistant gloves on top of that. It keeps water off my hand and my fingers are protected.
- Shoe - I won't say go for steel toe boots if you can't get it. However, at least try to get gum boots (or called rain boots). Avoid sneakers because all they do is soak up water.
- Mask - Again plenty of people wearing surgical masks. If you are doing anything other drywall and insulation, it's ok not to have a mask (really no big deal). But if you must wear one, get the ones that are meant to keep out airborne particles (drywall and insulation fiber). Everyone keeps talking about N95 and that's right. However, you can any of these; they all do the job - N95, N99, N100. There are also the R & P variants that work (used mostly when there are petrochemical vapors but will work here too) - R95, R99, R100, P95, P99, P100.
- Wear jeans - I saw many people today wearing shorts. Sure, it's a little warm but those thicker jeans will keep your legs protected.
Leave all the things to be trashed within 10 ft of your curb
The reason is that the trash company comes out with a truck that has an extensible fork gripper. That's how they pick up the stuff; they're not picking it by hand. So if it's not within 10 ft of your curb, they can't pick it up.