Should I Clean My Own Stuff?
When your house floods, your first priority is to get the water out. You’ll want to get an experienced water damage restoration company to dry, clean, and restore your home. Once you have that process started, it’s important to focus on your belongings. One of the most frequent questions we are asked after a homeowner has a flood is: “Should I clean my own stuff?”
What Are Contents?
Since you’ll be dealing with an insurance claim at this point, you should be knowledgeable about the terms and phrases you’ll be hearing. One of these terms will be “contents”. Contents are your belongings. A popular way to describe contents is: “If you turned your house upside down, anything that falls is considered contents.”
After the water damage restoration process begins, you’ll likely have some contents that have been affected by the water. Rugs, furniture, clothes, toys – anything that was affected by the water should be cleaned.
Should I Clean My Own Contents?
In most cases, you’ll want your water damage restoration company to clean your contents. They’ll have the cleaning equipment, supplies and training required to properly clean all of your contents. The last thing you want to do is improperly clean your family’s clothes or your children’s toys. You definitely don’t want mold spores growing inside of Little Timmy’s favorite teddy bear!
If your water damage restoration company doesn’t offer contents cleaning, they’ll be able to refer you to a company that does. If you’d be more comfortable asking your insurance adjuster, they’ll likely recommend a company too. Either way, you’ll definitely want a professional contents cleaning company to clean your belongings and ensure they are free of mold, mildew, and lingering odors.
How Much Does It Cost For A Company To Clean My Contents
The cost of contents cleaning depends on how many of your belongings were affected. If you have a lot of contents that will require cleaning, there will be a higher cost. It’s safe to say that you can expect to spend a few thousand if your basement was significantly flooded.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “How can it cost thousands of dollars to clean some stuff?” However, you have to understand that a team of people will be coming to your home. They’ll be photographing items, creating a master inventory, and packing things securely using bubble wrap and packing paper. They’ll clean your contents at their facility, pack them back into fresh, clean boxes, and store your belongings until your home is dried and cleaned.
A team of people will then bring your contents back, unpack them, and review the master inventory list with you to ensure everything is there. All of these things can add up to hundreds of labor and cleaning hours, the cost of packing and cleaning supplies, and of course their overhead and profit.
Does My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Contents Cleaning?
The good news is that there is a significant possibility that your insurance company will cover the cleaning of your contents. You should check your policy, or contact your insurance adjuster to find out if you’re covered. If you’re not, the contents cleaning company may give you a discount, but keep in mind that they still need to run their business and make a profit.
So should you clean your own contents? Only if you absolutely have to. Only if your insurance won’t cover it and it’s just not in the budget for you to hire a professional company. Even then, you need to make sure your home is dried, cleaned, and restored before you clean your contents. It won’t do you much good to clean something, then set it back on a carpet that’s full of mold spores.