How to Clean Flood Damage from Your Vehicle Interior

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Vehicle Repair on Monday, September 24th, 2018 at 9:01 pm

The Rio Grande Valley has been subject to flooding this year. With flooding comes a terrible loss of property, one of which could be flood damage to your car.

After the rain has subsided and the flood waters have gone done, recovering your car should become one of your main priorities. The earlier you start recovering your car from the flood damage, the better. There are a few things you must do to ensure you clean your car out properly.

Survey the Damage

When the weather permits and the flood water has subsided, survey your vehicle for damage. Open up your vehicle and remove everything that isn’t attached. This means removing papers, trash, car mats and other various items you have in your car.

Next, determine how bad the damage is. Press down on the carpets and seats to see how saturated with water they are. Flood damage can wreak havoc on a car’s interior, causing mold, rust and other problems dangerous to you and your vehicle. Take a wet/dry vac to remove out any standing water and to vacuum the interiors.

If your vehicle is completely saturated with water, you may have to go in and remove all carpet and the seats. This can help you spot detail and help your car dry out faster.

Create Air Flow

Once you have your vehicle stripped down to the basics, it’s now time to really air out your car. Increase the airflow going through your vehicle by setting up a fan on one side of your vehicle. To help things go faster, you can set up multiple fans around your vehicle to get the airflow going.

You should leave the fans going for at least a day in order to ensure proper ventilation and drying. Another thing you should consider is using compressed air to get water out of tight spots. This can help reduce rusting and mold in smaller and tighter spaces that a wet/dry vac can’t get to.

Deodorize Your Vehicle and Spot Treat

Once your vehicle is thoroughly dry, it’s time to deodorize. Ideally, you should go back in and shampoo your carpets and upholstery. Although this may seem counterintuitive to get things wet again, shampooing your upholstery and carpet can kill lingering bacteria that can breed mold.

There are also other deodorizing products that can help, not only with the smell but with keeping away excess moisture. Baking soda is a great product to use when spot treating your vehicle.

Conclusion

Overall, treating a flood-damaged car is hard work. There are many alternatives to treating your vehicle, such as making a claim through your insurance or taking it to a professional to clean out your vehicle.

If you want to get the damage to your vehicle surveyed by professionals, please visit our Collision Center!

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