How to Clean a Flood Damaged Interior
It's never really that much of a hassle driving during the rainy season. Just give your ride a good wash and wax, then you're once again ready to go. But when we're talking about storms and floods, now that's a whole different story. Once you see dirty flood water come rushing to the insides of your car, who wouldn't panic? Aside from the fact that your car will automatically get bad rep for being a flood damaged used car, you'll also be anxious and worried about the serious damages it could cause your precious ride.
Being one of the reputable and trusted professional cash for cars Melbourne that has had over two decades of experience, Advance Car Wreckers has already seen and handled many kinds of cars that have been in the mercy of nature's wrath. Well, it is indeed a troublesome situation; but it shouldn't be a hopeless one. Instead of crying over spilled milk, you must act and do something about right away. Believe us, it's doable. And don't worry 'coz we won't leave you hanging. As your trusted junk car removalists and car wreckers in Melbourne, we now provide you with tips on how to deal with a car with a flood-damaged interior:
Before going deep into reviving your car's interior, make sure that there really isn't anything wrong with your engine. Besides, what could be more important than that. After knowing that your car runs as normal, check which parts of your interior are drenched in flood water. You may also want to see if your headlights, taillights, and signal lights also have water inside them. If that's the case, you may want to take them out first before causing any damage to your car's lights. Then, disconnect your battery.
Open it for some sunshine
Now to get your flooded vehicle ready, park it outdoors - preferably an obstructed area where your car can be hit by the sunlight at all sides. Then, open up everything. Open the doors, lower your windows, open the trunk, and open even the sunroof if your car has one.
Strip your car down
Dismantling could be overwhelming, especially for first-timers or car owners who rarely get their hands dirty. But even how daunting this seems to be, remember that this is the most essential part of the whole process. You have to take out every part of your interior that have gotten wet. Remove the floor mats then immediately hang them out to dry under the sun. If you have seat covers, remove them as well. Again, everything drenched must come out. So if your car seats and doors' plastic panels are wet, take them out as well. Lay each one outside so they could dry under the sun and the outside air. You may also want to remove the carpet foam/padding. A dry carpet over a soaked pad will most definitely cause mold and mildew build-up. And if they're really soaked up, don't consider drying and using them again. Just buy a new one to be 100% sure. They won't cost that much.
Time for some drying
This step will be the one to take up the most of your time because you want to be extra sure that your car is absolutely free from any trace of water inside. Using a wet and dry vacuum, suck up all the remaining flood water from every nook and cranny. Work your way from top to bottom or bottom to top, per area, so it'll be easy or you not to miss any part. After vacuuming each area, turn the device off and wipe it with a clean and dry absorbent towel or rag. Then run your fingers through it to double-check that it isn't moist anymore. If you want to repeat the process for each area to make sure, go right ahead. Don't forget small crevices like the center console, door steps, and other areas with small curves and corners.
Afterwhich, get extension cords and fans from your house. If you have an oscillating fan, you can place it inside your car. If not, you may just get normal fans and place them at each door. If you have 4, the better. Wait for a few hours for the air to circulate inside.
Clean it up
If it was just plain water that have drenched the parts of your car, then after drying everything out you'll be pretty much done. The bad news is, flood water is filthy. So what you need to do now is get rid of the mud, stray leaves, and the other dirt that came with the water. For the plastic panels of your interiors, you may just use interior cleaners and then just wipe them dry. For your empty car's metal parts like the floor or where your seats are attached to, clean it with mild soap and water. Then lay a coat of baking soda so it won't start to rust. After leaving it for a few minutes, you may have to use the vacuum again to get rid of the baking soda.
Leave your car first and turn to the carpet, floor mats, and/or seats you have let out to dry. You may use car shampoo or upholstery cleaners and a brush for those. Finish by scrubbing them with clean wet towels. If you have the time to wait, and it's still sunny outside, it's best if you let nature dry them all up. But if not, you may use the wet-dry vacuum as well or a hair dryer. If you have leather car seats, use the appropriate leather cleaners.
After making sure everything is 101% dry, put everything back inside. Again, don't put your old padding back inside. Make sure you got a new one before putting back your carpet and floor mats. While you're at it buying new padding, you may also want to get bulk packs of moisture-absorbing silica gels. These can be placed under your seats so any moisture inside is absorbed even if it gets too steamy outside. If you're sure everything's clean but you still detect some nasty smell, you may get some charcoal, place it in open containers, and put it inside your car as well. Wrap up by spraying some odor-eliminating sprays (better if the ones with anti-bacterial agents) like Lysol and other leading brands.
Have the electricals checked by a professional mechanic before you turn them all on again.
If your car has really suffered from an unfortunate natural disaster like flood, you only have two choices. Work on it immediately like the process we've shared you, or, you leave it to rust and rot. Your call.
Now should your car be totally wrecked from a storm or flood, that even the engine and transmission has got some serious problems, then you might consider handing it over to us. As car buyer Melbourne that has been in the business for 20 years, we have acquired many clients because of our fast and efficient service. Trust us to take care of your flooded vehicle and put it to good use. Call us now at 0405 063 700.