How to Prevent Mold Growth After Flooding
Floodwaters pose as an inherent danger both during and after a flood. Harmful bacteria and hazardous chemicals and toxins swarm in floodwaters, polluting everything with which the waters come into contact. Even after the waters subside, the excess moisture left from the receding flood gives rise to an infestation of mold within as little as 24 hours.
Certain affected possessions may need to be tossed after a flood. A child’s stuffed toy, for instance, that has absorbed even a trickle of floodwater should be thrown out to avoid dangerous, toxic mold growth. Floodwaters contain contaminants that stay harbored in absorbent materials. A favorite upholstered armchair, too, that has come into contact with floodwaters should be removed from the restored home. Porous goods such as these, no matter how sentimentally valuable, can trap mold spores.
Homeowners have some recourse after a flood. While not all household possessions may be salvaged after a flood, homeowners can take steps to prevent mold growth from seizing the home. Remember that mold spores thrive in moisture rich areas, in warmth and with the availability of a nutritious food source—all of which are found in recently flooded areas.
Notify the Insurance Agent
Flood insurance is purchased separately from homeowner’s insurance. Homeowners who have flood insurance should notify their insurance agent of the flood damage. Take copious photos, video and notes to document the flood damage before setting to work to lessen the chances of mold growth. Reimbursement for damages may be affected by removing, cleaning or discarding possessions. Check with the insurance company to see what may or may not be covered before starting the cleanup.
Dress for Safety
Before tackling the outcome of floodwater damage, wear appropriate safety gear. Visible mold spores are harmful when breathed in, so wear a N95 respirator mask (found in local hardware shops). Waterproof work boots and gloves offer protection against the dangerous contaminants floating in the floodwater. Even water that appears crystal clear harbors a host of pollutants.
Pump Out Excess Water
Homeowners should remove the standing water from the home. Use a sump pump and bucket if the water is several inches high, or soak up the water along the carpeting with a wet vac if the flooding is minimal.
Dry out the Space
Moisture is a haven for mold spores. Prevent mold contamination by thoroughly drying out the affected areas. Open the doors and windows (if weather permits) to circulate clean air throughout the vicinity.
Rent a dehumidifier or powerful fan and run them continuously in the flooded space. The drying process will be sped up in larger areas, like a basement, by utilizing industrial or commercial size models.
Discard Porous Materials
Mold latches onto porous surfaces, such as drywall, fabrics, clothing and carpeting. Organic substances along with the presence of moisture nourish mold, and the spores multiply in a frenzy.
As a precautionary measure, throw out any porous household goods that have come into contact with floodwater. Upholstered furniture that has become dampened with moisture will nourish mold spores. Affected insulation, drywall and carpeting should also be placed in the trash, since porous, wet items like these harbor mold colonies. Carpeting, even if dried out, still retains living mold spores. Safety measures require discarding carpets that have been exposed to floodwater.
Any items that release moldy odors should also be tossed. Papers, books, rugs and food items (even if canned) should be thrown into the garbage. Plus, appliances, like computers or air conditioning units, that feature fans and that have been exposed to moldy areas should be discarded.
Sanitize Nonporous Goods
Hard surfaces, like glass, metal items and plastic may be salvaged. Fine china and porcelain that have been in floodwaters are examples of household goods that may be reused.
While mold spores are unable to penetrate nonporous objects, these good must still be disinfected. Mix a solution of one cup bleach and one gallon of hot water to wipe down the nonporous items and sanitize them. Never mix bleach with ammonia, as the solution will release toxic fumes that dangerously affect lung health.
Look for Evidence of Mold
Mold is typically evident visually and through smell. Mold has the musty odor of dirty socks. Black or dark green splotches that appear along walls or ceilings is another indication of mold growth.
Occupants in a recently flooded home who experience sudden coughing, runny nose, watery eyes and itchy skin can track their symptoms to mold growth. Eruptions of respiratory problems when inside the home is another sign that mold has taken hold.
A homeowner who discovers mold inside the home after a flood has two options: clean the moldy areas or hire a professional mold remediation service to address the mold issue. Experts recommend that small areas less than three square feet can be easily handled by a homeowner. Larger spaces of ten square feet or more that are infested with mold growth should be professionally cleaned.
When an attack of mold has infiltrated your home or business property, contact Rochester’s most reliable mold remediation service. Experienced technicians arrive onsite within one to four hours of your initial call to assess the mold and begin immediate removal.
The mold remediation professionals in Rochester, NY take precautionary measures to prevent the mold spores from spreading to other areas of the home. The existing mold is contained as the specialists tackle the growth that results from flood damage. Technicians remove all traces of visible and hidden mold growth using advanced and safe chemical cleaners. All contaminated surfaces are disinfected or disposed of. To control airborne mold spores, the specialists utilize a vacuum and air filter.
Mold spreads rapidly when conditions are optimal. Call the professionals when mold takes hold. No mold remediation job is too big or too small for damage restoration professionals in Rochester, NY. The experienced team dependably serves the residential and business communities in the Rochester, NY, area.