Got mold? Steps to cleaning up mold after a flood
After a heavy rain, the lower level of your home may experience some minor flooding. In many cases, this will mean nothing more than a few puddles you can take care of with a mop and a box fan. Even when flooding is minimal, however, your home is still at risk of developing mold, and mold can be harmful to your health because it produces allergens.
The best way to deal with mold is to consult a professional cleaning and restoration company. This can be expensive, though; so, we’ve compiled a basic list of mold removal tips to help your family stay safe and to help you save money.
How to determine if you have mold
If your home has taken on water, chances are very high that it will develop mold, and so it’s best to take preemptive measures. Mold remediation is actually quite simple. Mold is a living organism that thrives on moisture. To remove mold, you must then remove moisture and prevent it from coming back.
Identify moisture source
After you have gone through and removed the majority of the floodwater from your home, chances are that you will still find a little bit of it dripping in. Common breach points include cellar windows or cracks in your basement wall, but rainwater could also be entering your home through a backed up faucet connected to your city’s water system.
Whatever the case may be, the first step to mold cleanup is to repair the broken part of your home that has allowed water to get in.
Use a biocide
Once you have repaired your window or caulked your wall crack, you’ll want to apply a biocide to the area that flooded. A biocide is a chemical that kills organic materials like mold, and the cheapest, most effective biocide to use is bleach.
If you are working in an unfinished basement, biocide application will be extremely simple. All you’ll need to do is dilute the bleach with water as per the instructions on its bottle and then apply your solution to your concrete floor and walls. If, however, you’ve experienced flooding in a finished room with carpet and dry wall, your mold remediation may become a bit more complex.
Even after mold has been killed with a biocide, its dead remains still contain spores that can pose health hazards. On an unfinished, concrete floor, these spores can simply be wiped away with a paper towel. In finished rooms, however, removal is not so simple. For one thing, a biocide like bleach will permanently discolor your carpet. On top of this, carpet and drywall are porous materials, and as such they can harbor allergenic mold spores deep within.
If you suspect that you have mold underneath your carpet or behind your drywall, you should consult a professional mold cleanup crew. Professionals can determine whether total replacement is necessary, and they can perform the repairs for you and handle disposal.
Treating mold is for the most part common sense. Follow these basic mold removal tips, and you’ll be sure to get pretty far on your own. At some point, however, you may need to consult a qualified professional.