Flooding at home is among the most dreaded events that any homeowner faces. Depending on the cause and severity, floods have the potential of not just compromising the structural integrity of the home, but can also cause significant damage to the homeowner’s belongings, not to mention the potential health benefits associated with stagnant water.
One crucial thing to properly deal with after a flood is mold propagation. After any flood, it is vital to take every precaution to ensure that the conditions are never right for the growth of mold. Read below to discover some of the health risks associated with the propagation of mold within your indoor spaces, and how to get rid of mold properly after a flooding event.
Health risks of mold after flooding
Mold from flooding and other forms of water damage comes with significant health risks, necessitating the need to deal with it as quickly as possible. Some of the health risks associated with exposure to mold include increased asthma attacks to family members already suffering from asthma, irritation of the skin, eyes and nose, a myriad of respiratory illnesses, including bronchitis, and the weakening of the immune system. Any of these conditions caused or aggravated by mold should be treated seriously since they can degenerate into more dire health conditions.
How long will it take for mold to grow after floods?
It is worth noting that the microorganisms that typically turn into mold colonies, and ultimately lead to mold growth, are always in the air around us. Therefore, when the conditions are right, mold growth can occur within twenty-four to forty-eight hours of water exposure.
Furthermore, as long as the conditions remain right (that is, if high moisture and humidity levels are constant), the mold colonies will keep on multiplying. According to the Center of Disease Control, some of the places that you should watch out for mold growth include walls in damp rooms, ceiling tiles, paper products, cardboards, drywall, wallpaper, upholstery, carpets, and insulation.
How to quickly clean up mold after floods
Due to the health risks associated with mold, it is highly recommended that you get expert help for mold removal after floods.
When you invite after-flood cleaning experts, they should also test the indoor air for the presence of mold and then take the necessary steps to prevent a full infestation.
However, there are certain things you can do immediately after a flood to significantly reduce the chances of mold infestation within your indoor spaces.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in North America, here are some of the things you can do to clean after a flood and avoid further infestation-:
Improve the ventilation in your home
Opening your home to fresh air is one of the free and easy steps you can take to clean up mold and prevent further infestation.
By exposing your home to fresh air, you will reduce the humidity inside the house, eliminating moisture that creates the right conditions for mold propagation.
If possible, use fans and dehumidifiers to get rid of excess moisture from the home. Ideally, leave as many windows and doors open as possible so that there can be a constant flow of fresh air indoors. It is also recommended that you allow maximum air flow to the attic area as well.
Remove all wet items from the rooms
Wet items inside the rooms will increase the damp conditions indoors, and this will help create the right conditions for mold propagation. Therefore, you need to get rid of all wet items, including furniture, bedding, carpets, curtains, toys and upholstery.
Items such as insulation, cardboards, wallpaper and ceiling tiles should be discarded if they also end up getting wet as a result of the flooding event. Also, don’t be afraid to get rid of anything that can’t dry completely or those that can’t be salvaged.
Remove standing water from the floors and the surfaces
With the help of a wet or a dry vacuum, get rid of all the standing water on the floor as well as on other hard surfaces.
To further prevent the propagation of mold, use a 10% bleaching solution while vacuuming. Don’t mix ammonia together with the bleach since this can lead to toxic vapors that may harm you during the cleaning process.
Have the right protection
If you are sensitive to mold exposure, then it is important that you protect yourself while cleaning.
During the cleanup process, get a pair of gloves, a face mask, respirators and goggles to afford you the protection you need from exposure.
Once you are done with the cleaning exercise, remove all the clothes you wore during the cleaning process, and take a shower. This will help limit the transfer of mold from one room to another.
Dealing with mold may not be easy for everyone. It becomes tougher if you are already suffering from allergies or have certain respiratory conditions. The best method, therefore, would be to seek the assistance of professional mold removal companies.
The beauty of these companies is that they will normally do more than just get rid of the mold. You can engage them for flood cleaning and mold removal at the same time.
In addition to helping you get rid of the mold, they will also help you avoid future infestations. Think of them as a one-stop-shop for all your flood cleaning and mold removal needs.
Contact KBS Maintenance today for quick, and safe mold removal services. We also offer after-flood cleaning services. Call us today for more info.