How to Clean Up Home Biohazards

Cleaning Up Home Biohazards

Flood waters and sewage that impacts communities can contain harmful contaminants. Have you ever thought about what biohazards are lurking in your own home? Here how to clean up home biohazards as well as other things you need to know.

Types of Home Biohazards

Bodily fluids from a human or animal may be contaminated with viruses, bacteria and other toxins that can make you sick. This type of waste will need professional removal and clean up. Examples include the aftermath of an accident, violent crime, death, or suicide in the home.

Sharp objects such as syringes, broken glass, knives, or blades are common household biohazards.  Handle these objects with care and teach your children about their dangers. Also, make sure medical waste is disposed of properly in approved containers.

Solid waste. Gloves, towels, or clothing that comes into contact with a biohazard is considered contaminated. These objects must be handled properly.

Pathological waste. In the home, this basically pertains to an animal carcass. The clean-up of animal or human organs, tissues and body parts should always be handled by a professional.

Professionals should always be hired to clean up a death scene. Traditional home sanitizing products aren’t strong enough to erase the contamination left by a dead body.

Biohazards in the Workplace

Hazardous biological agents are also found in the workplace. Medical or clinical staff are at risk of bloodborne pathogens like HIV. Workers can also be exposed to environmental pathogens such as mold and Legionnaires disease. First responders and researchers are at risk of weaponized biological agents like anthrax. Infectious diseases like COVID-19 can also harm anyone who is exposed.

Medical personnel, janitors, cleaning staff and childcare workers can easily come into contact with urine, vomit and feces. Food and farm workers who handle animal products and waste are also exposed to potential biohazards, including rodent or bird droppings. Organic matter like garbage, wastewater and sewage can also be contaminated. Biting or stinging insects also pose a health risk to some people.

Biohazards Caused by Rodents

If you have rats or mice in your home, it’s important to clean up after them. This includes safely disposing of their urine, feces, nesting materials, and their dead bodies.

The CDC lists some precautions you should take while cleaning up the mess.

Gather a household cleaning disinfectant or make a fresh homemade bleach solution. Wear rubber or plastic gloves. Spray insect repellent on clothes, shoes, and gloves to protect you from flea bites. Spray an EPA-registered disinfectant on rodent urine and droppings to kill germs. Scoop up the wet mess with paper towels and throw them into a garbage bag for disposal. Next, mop or sponge the area with a disinfectant. Clean your gloves with soap and water. Remove them and thoroughly wash your hands.

Seek help if you become ill and believe it’s due to a rodent-borne disease. Talk to your healthcare provider.

Let Us Clean Up the Mess

If your home has suffered water, flood, or fire damage, or you need a biohazard cleanup, Flood Department is here to help. We provide repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the damage done by water, mold, sewage, smoke, biohazards and more. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online for more information.

Why Do I Need Flood Insurance?

Why Do I Need Flood Insurance?

Why Invest in Flood Insurance

Flooding is often unexpected and can quickly wreak havoc. According to FEMA, just one inch of water can cause up to $25,000 in damage. Most homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. Flood insurance must be purchased separately.  It’s one of the best ways residents and business owners can protect themselves against financial losses due to high water.

Flooding Risk in Maryland

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency reports Maryland is prone to flooding. The agency notes short bursts of heavy rain can impact small streams and creeks and lead to flash flooding. Prolonged steady rain can impact larger streams and rivers and cause widespread flooding. Hurricanes and tropical storms can lead to tidal flooding along Maryland’s bays and tributaries. Find out if your neighborhood is at risk for flooding by visiting

The Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states get hit with high rainfall, but less frequently than the Gulf states do. As a result, the Mid-Atlantic area is less prepared to handle the impacts of flooding.

The Benefits of Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is available to all homeowners, business owners and renters. You don’t have to be in a high-risk flood zone to purchase it. The coverage can stop the need to dip into your savings or take on debt to make repairs to flood-damaged property. Having flood insurance helps victims recover faster when floodwaters recede.

What Flood Insurance Covers

Flood insurance is available primarily through the federally run National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Under the NFIP, residential property owners can buy coverage of up to $250,000 in structural damages and up to $100,000 for personal property. Businesses can buy up to $500,000 in coverage for damage to buildings and another $500,000 for damage to contents.

The NFIP provides flood insurance to people in areas highly prone to flooding. These are called SFHAs, or Special Flood Hazard Areas.  SFHAs are also known as the 100-year floodplain.

Some private insurers also offer flood insurance. The options typically offer more flexibility and broader coverage than the federal government does.

The Cost of Flood Insurance

How much you have to fork over for flood insurance varies by flood zone, the coverage you buy, and characteristics of your property. NFIP policies for single-family homes inside a floodplain cost an average of $1,100 per year. It will run you about $490 annually if you have a home outside the Special Flood Hazard Area. Flood insurance is mandatory for certain homes in the SFHA, also known as the 100-year floodplain.

Although flood insurance isn’t legally required for all properties, it’s a good idea to have it. Properties outside flood prone areas account for 20% of all NFIP claims and receive 33% of federal disaster assistance for flooding.  Flood insurance can be quite affordable for homes outside FEMA’s high-risk flood zones.

Let Us Repair the Damage

When it comes to water, flood or fire damage,  Flood Department is here to help. We provide water damage repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses. We cover Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the damage done by water, mold, sewage, smoke and more. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.