Steps to Prevent Mold Growth after Flood Damage
Dealing with flood damage can be stressful, especially when you factor in the potential for mold growth and the dangers and health concerns that come with it. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), mold can cause nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing and skin irritation. People that are more sensitive to mold or have allergies to mold suffer from more severe reactions, such as fever, shortness of breath and wheezing, which can eventually lead to a chronic lung illness if not treated. Flood damage offers the perfect breeding grounds for mold and can start growing within 24 to 48 hours after a flood, so it is crucial to act fast. Below are the steps you can take to prevent mold growth after flood damage.
Remove Standing Water
The first step is to pump out any standing water. If there is standing water near electrical sources or if the house was flooded with hazardous sewage, it is best to call in a professional. If you’re removing the water your own, it is best to use a wet vac or the old-fashioned way of using buckets and mops. Be careful not to splash water around as it can be contaminated and potentially cause more mold growth. You’ll also want to use a wet vac to draw water out of soggy carpets and upholstered furniture items and then relocate them to another room or building that does not have flood damage to dry out more thoroughly.
Encourage Air Flow
Use as many fans as possible and open any doors or windows to get air circulating over the flooded areas. Be careful not to use plugs that may have been compromised with water, so use fans that you can set on counters and plug into outlets that are not close to the floor. While the fans will help, they may not be enough to keep moisture levels low. In this case, you’ll want to get a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels low in the rooms that you need to dry.
If You Suspect Mold Growth after Flood Damage
Mold may have already started growing if circumstances prevented you from getting to your home within the 24 to 48 hours after the flood. The CDC recommends hiring a professional to come in and clean up the mold if it covers more than 100 square feet. If you’re cleaning up a smaller area, a mixture of water and detergent should be enough to get the job done. Many people make the mistake of using bleach, which can give off toxic fumes and cause more health issues if you’re not careful. You should not use bleach to clean up mold unless someone in your home suffers from mold allergies or a weakened immune system.
Keep or Toss?
Generally speaking, anything that was submerged in water should be tossed, as you may not be able to tell if the water was contaminated or not. Also, any food that has come into contact with water should be tossed, including canned foods. Non-porous items, such as jewelry, dishes, most wood furniture, glass and metal items, can usually be cleaned up and saved.
When in Doubt, Call Stanley Steemer of South Florida
With hurricane season on the forefront of everyone’s minds, it is important to prepare yourself for the possibility of flood damage. Floods can occur for many reasons, but you don’t want to leave the restoration process up to chance. throughout most of South Florida. With a team of expert and fully-certified specialists, Stanley Steemer of South Florida is able to minimize the damage and restore your home back to normal as quickly as possible. For peace of mind, call (888) 982-3553 today of visit our website to learn more.