Proper Cleaning Beyond Bleach
One of the most significant issues after a disaster such as flooding is mold. Even if the floodwaters have long gone away, the mold may remain.
Molds are fungi. Dampness supports its growth. This type of growth is harmful to the people living in the home. And when they multiply, they cause allergies and respiratory issues.
Although harmless-looking, mold played a role in the deaths of four professors in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, for mold was a persistent problem in thousands of homes in New Orleans even after cleanup. Don’t let this happen to you.
People At High Risk From Mold Exposure
Mold is worse for people with respiratory issues, asthma, and allergies, HIV, cancer, as well as those who have had an organ transplant. If your immune system is already weak, mold will just put you in a compromised position. Young children should also avoid contact with the mold.
Mold Exposure Effects On Health
Exposure to mold causes a stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing, or skin irritation. If you are allergic, it will cause difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath.
If your immune system is already weak and you’ve got chronic lung disease, it can give you an infection, and even reach a point where mold infections develop in your lungs.
Mold removal starts with identifying the extent of mold presence. You need to contain mold to prevent it from spreading.
Using a moisture meter, determine how wet an area is. Even something that looks dry can have hidden moisture. Aim for moisture content less than 16 percent.
After A Flooding
Dry the wet areas as quickly as you can after flooding. Remove moisture in your home by opening doors and windows and turning on the fans, heaters and air conditioners. If you see mud and silt, take it out before it gets a chance to dry.
Fungi will grow depending on the water content of the material. Any material that stays wet for more than two days is prone to mold growth. The longer it remains wet, the faster the spread of the mold.
One thing you have to know about mold is that it can grow even in dry spaces with humidity.
Be careful though, once you see mold has grown, do not turn on the fans as they will just spread mold spores.
Reach For The Bleach
It’s almost instinctual to reach for bleach at the first sign of mold infestation.
But bleach is only useful in killing mold on nonporous surfaces such as tile and porcelain. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, use no more than one cup of bleach to one gallon of water. Open the windows and ventilate your workspace.
Use bleach on wood or drywall, and you will only encourage mold growth. You cannot prevent mold growth if the material stays wet. Use bleach on conditioning systems and wood furnishings, and you will cause damage.
Mold Makes You Throw Away Items You Hold Dear
Mold sometimes forces you to throw away items that you hold dear. These are items that cannot be washed such as carpeting, draperies, upholstered furniture, pillows, mattresses, etc. These items absorb water quickly and dry oh so slowly.
Cleaning mold means removing it after killing it. Dead spores cause health problems, so what you need to do is vacuum the area using a vacuum with a certified HEPA filter.
Be on the lookout for new growth or any remaining wetness. Again, mold can form in as soon as two days. Make sure your exhaust fans are vented to the outside to help prevent moisture growth.
There are mold growths that you can deal with yourself, and then there are those that come after a flood that you need more hands and heads and expertise to deal with.
Hire Mold Removal Experts
The damage to your home may have put you in turmoil, which is reasonable and very understandable. You have just gone through a tragedy, and you may need time to collect yourself before you can focus on repairing and rebuild your home after water damage caused by flooding.
Mold removal experts have the tools and experience to contain, kill, and remove mold infestation in your home. The experts will draw up mold remediation and removal plan.
Make sure the professionals you hire have a long track record and can provide references. Choose a trusted name in the business and trust that they will not be making mistakes and will not put your family’s health at risk.