Coming back to your home after a flood is a huge step towards getting your life back to normal. But you may be faced with a new problem the moment you come back; How to deal with the mold?
If you are unfortunate to come back and find that your house has been infested by mold following the flood, it is important to get rid of the mold, while staying safe at the same time. To help you out, here is a brief guide on how to go about it:
Before you clean
Before you embark on the actual cleaning process, you should know the type of mold you are dealing with. This is because there are different types of mold, all of which come with varying degree of risks, and if you don’t know just the specific type you may dealing with, you could be putting yourself into more danger. A good idea would be to call a professional mold cleaning company to help you understand more about the mold, and to potentially help you with the cleaning process.
If you decide on going ahead with the cleaning on your own, you need to have appropriate gear to protect you as you do the cleaning. Remember, inhaling mold is likely to cause a myriad of respiratory problems, and so you must have protective goggles and masks before cleaning. You should also have gloves and boots to protect your hands and feet appropriately.
Be cautious with the bleach
As it is generally the preferred method of mold removal after flooding, you should be very careful when using bleach to get rid of mold. Consider the following tips to help you stay safe:
- Don’t mix the bleach with any other cleaning agent, especially ammonia.
- Ensure to leave all the doors and windows open as you clean with the bleach.
- Don’t use the bleach straight from the bottle to clean the mold. Use one cup of bleach for every gallon of water. For stronger professional strength bleaches, use less than a cup for a gallon of water.
- Protect your nose, skin, mouth and eyes into coming into direct contact with the bleach.
The above steps should set you on the right path towards getting rid of mold when cleaning your home after a flood.
Floods pose an inherent danger to human life and property, both during and after the flood. Flooding water contains toxins and harmful bacteria that may cause serious harm to anyone in contact with it.
Once the waters subside, mold can infest the property within 24 hours. If you’ve experienced flooding relatively recently, it is possible to prevent mold from growing. If it is too late, there are mold removal methods to eliminate the health hazard.
There are mold spores all over the atmosphere. Flooding waters, however, attract the mold, which then attach to the wet surface once the water dries up. Upon attachment, molds spores germinate and consume objects made from plants, like timber and cardboard. Molds are noticeable through a musty smell and have a brown, green, or black discoloration.
Tips for Mold Cleanup after Flood
Open up your home to fresh air.
Open up your house only if the external humidity levels are much lower than indoors. If not, use fans to lower the inner humidity levels. Dehumidifiers are also excellent equipment to reduce excess moisture. Free flow of air bars growth of mold. Keep all doors and windows open.
Remove wet items.
All toys, beddings, clothes, bed, and other wet things should dry from outside air. Soaked items like sofas or mattresses, which would be impossible to salvage, can be rid of.
Dry out the remaining water.
A dry or wet vacuum cleaner could help clean up standing water from surfaces. Avoid using chemicals while drying up the room to avoid spreading toxic vapors due to a chemical reaction. Mold cleanup is easier using clean water and regular detergents.
Wear a suitable garment before attempting mold removal.
Professional mold removal requires you to have a proper facemask, respirators, gloves, and goggles. Clean yourself up before leaving the site to avoid transferring toxic mold to other areas.
Once done with the home cleaning, allow the house to dry for a few days. Make sure to open doors and windows.
Sheetrock is not visible from the outside. If sheetrock is not dried, the wood inside gets weaker, and the effect will reach the outboard with time. Cut small openings along with the bases of the walls. It will allow air to get in the walls and dry the inside.
How Do I Prevent Mold After Flooding?
If you act fast, it is possible to prevent mold growth on your premises after flooding. The only secret lies behind drying the affected area. Here is how:
Open doors and windows if the environment outside is less humid. The intention here is to make the room warmer on the inside to discourage mold growth. Mold thrives under high humidity.
Pump out flooding water. A pump and a bucket will help remove standing water. Once dried to a few inches, a wet vacuum can then dry out the remaining part.
Get rid of all wet items. Use sanitizers to disinfect exposed surfaces.
Remove porous materials like drywall, fabrics, carpet, and ceiling boards. Molds spores multiply once nourished by organic materials.
Switch on fans to increase airspeed in the room to facilitate fast evaporation.
Dehumidifiers are excellent equipment to lower moisture levels in the room. It would be wise to use a large dehumidifier. It will save you a lot of potential damage. Large rooms may no longer need an office or home dehumidifier. If your power supply allows, keep the dehumidifier running until wet surfaces dry out.