QUICK TIPS: BASIC CLEAN-UP FOR BUSINESS - EH: Minnesota Department of Health


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Take Pictures of Damage

Take pictures of the building and contents before you start cleaning. Pictures help with insurance claims.

Stay Safe as You Clean

Wear an N-95 respirator, rubber boots, rubber gloves and eye goggles to clean.

Be Careful with Asbestos

Dry asbestos fiber can enter your lungs when you breathe. It can cause cancer. Wet asbestos is less likely to be in the air. If the building has asbestos in it:

  • Call an asbestos company to take it away safely; and
  • Call the MPCA (651-296-6300) to find out where to take it safely.

If you think you have asbestos:

  • Look for an asbestos label; and
  • Call an asbestos company for help.

What to Throw Away

Take out and throw away porous items that soak up water. Wood, wallboard, wallpaper, insulation, carpeting, seat cushions and mattresses can grow mold that can make you sick.

When in doubt, throw it out!
Wash hands well and often!
Wash with soap and safe water!

Scrub All Hard Surfaces

First, scrub hard, “nonporous” surfaces like concrete, countertops and appliances with soap and safe water. Rinse well with safe water. Scrub and rinse with safe water before using a bleach mix. Do not mix bleach with soap or other products. See “Disaster Quick Tips: Using Bleach.”

Dry Out the Building

Open doors and windows. Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry the building. Paint and install drywall only when all is dry.

Use fuel powered tools safely. Always use these types of tools outdoors – never inside:

  • Gasoline engines used to pump water or to make power; or
  • Grills that use natural gas or charcoal.

Use these tools far away from enclosed spaces, garages, open windows or doors, or air intakes. They make gases that can cause illness or death.

Clean Up Fuel Oil Spills

Wear clothing that will not soak up oil when cleaning. Keep children and pets away from fuel oil spills. Keep fresh air moving in the area. Throw away items that are porous and have soaked up the oil. Keep away anything that can start a fire. An oil spill is a potential fire hazard.

Report the spill:
Minnesota Duty Officer Program

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Updated Monday, March 30, 2015 at 09:36AM