25 Sep The Trouble with Flooding & Storms: Mold!
With the devastation that has recently been caused by hurricanes, one of the largest problems that will be faced is the mold from the flooding. Mold can be in many areas that you cannot see with your own eyes. However, this is a major issue that needs to be addressed. There are several steps to be taken in order to handle this serious problem, and it needs to be done quickly and safely.
When dealing with mold remediation, people must protect themselves. The CDC and FEMA both state to wear protective gloves, eyewear, and a “mask rated N-95 or higher” when beginning the cleanup. This is to protect the individuals. After securing those items, the actual cleanup begins.
All items that were below the water line must be thrown out. This can be a difficult process. Demolition of walls and floors can be a messy process but must be done. The difficult part is throwing out the personal items that may have been swept up in the water. Some items may be able to be cleaned, but unfortunately, items such as, stuffed animals, which most people think can be thrown in the wash with heavy detergent and then put in the dryer, can still harbor dangerous mold after washing. It is best to simply throw it away. You do not want to risk the health of your child for this. Wood, paper, or types of cloth furniture will probably need to be discarded. It is essential that this is done.
While going through and following the previous task, it’s critical to work on drying out the whole area. One way is to air out the area that has been affected, just by opening windows and doors. Once electricity has been restored or it has been deemed safe to use, several products can be brought in. Fans, heaters, and dehumidifiers and filters will all help assist in the drying out process. Dehumidifiers and air filters are especially important for their ability to clean the air. Mold spores will be taken out of the air as the humidity in the air will be reduced as well. Reducing the risk of mold growth is the single most important thing you can do for the health of your family.
Another part of the process is cleaning areas. This is a two-step process, one involving a simple detergent and the second involves using a bleach-based solution. Obviously, the first time cleaning through, ammonia cannot be used, because any combination of ammonia and bleach will cause toxic fumes. After thoroughly cleaning using the detergent and bleach, it is important to continue using the different machines for drying. It will take several days to dry, but it needs to be dried thoroughly once again. You can also place white vinegar in large vases or bowls around the home. As it dissipates into the air, the vinegar is powerful enough to kill mold spores and help purify the air in moldy rooms or areas.
These steps have to be taken seriously, and a thorough investigation has to be done when dealing with mold remediation. In 2013, the Canadian province of Alberta was hit heavily by floods. Houses were rebuilt before all of the flood damage and mold had been addressed. These homes had to be completely redone. Leftover flooring, wall materials, insulation and some of the wood for framing was all changed. With the recent surge in storms, hurricanes, and flooding, it is best to be prepared for this type of situation.
That is why it is essential to clean and dry as quickly as possible. The mold can spread from one material to another and can move to places that will be too difficult for the human eye to see. If you’re not sure if your home has been affected by mold, you can contact a professional mold remediation company, and they will run the necessary tests to ensure your home is either safe or not suitable for living in. The steps listed above can help stop the spread of mold and save your health.