Addressing Mold After a Natural Disaster
If you’ve recently suffered from water or flood damage, then it is very likely mold is growing somewhere on the premise. Even if it is not visible to the naked eye. Water may be absorbed by the drywall, which provides a perfect breeding ground for mold out of sight.
Once it is safe to enter the home again you should first visually inspect for any signs of mold. Mold tends to have a noticeable odor as well. You could also hire a mold remediation company to come and test the home for mold growth.
Mold can lead to several adverse health effects. It is even more harmful to occupants with serious allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions. It’s a good idea to work with a professional team, but it is possible to remove small amounts of mold on your own. Here are some simple tips for safely removing mold from the house.
1. Get The Proper Safety Gear
Remember, mold can be dangerous. You should never handle it with your bare hands and you should avoid breathing it in. It does the most damage once it is inside the lungs. This means you’ll need protective gloves, protective clothing, and a high quality respirator. Never attempt to clean mold without putting on the proper safety gear first.
2. Isolate The Areas With Mold
Next, you need to locate and isolate all of the areas with mold in the home. Any rooms with mold should be closed off to the rest of the house. Open windows and use fans to ventilate the room. Fans should blow mold spores out the window and prevent them from spreading to new rooms.
3. Moldy Porous Materials Must Go
Porous materials, such as drywall and concrete, cannot be saved once mold has started to grow. You cannot clean these items and must instead remove the affected areas completely.
4. First Clean And Then Disinfect
Mold removal has two key phases: cleaning and disinfecting. You’ll need the proper cleaning solutions and disinfecting chemicals for the job. Clean the areas with mold and then properly disinfect. Remember to wear your respirator and protective clothing at all times.
5. Consider Borate
You may choose to apply a borate treatment to any exposed wood in the home. It isn’t mandatory, but can really help. The borate will help protect against rotting, water damage, and future mold growth.
6. Flush Out The Air
It’s likely the mold spores will become airborne during and after the cleaning process. Ventilate the rooms and use fans to keep the air blowing outside. Leave them running around the clock to ensure no spores remain.
7. Use Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers are a great tool to have after the cleanup and disinfecting is finished. Use them to speed up the drying process. You can also use your home’s heating and cooling system. The faster it dries the better. Otherwise, new mold may form because of the residual moisture.
8. Keep An Eye Out For New Mold
You aren’t in the clear quite yet. Even after you’ve cleaned all of the visible mold you must remain on alert for some time. It is possible spores spread and new mold will grow. Visually inspect your home on a daily basis.
9. Wait For The Rooms To Dry
It will be tempting to restore the home as soon as the mold is gone, but you must wait. Don’t begin restoring any floors or walls until the cleaned areas are completely dry. Otherwise, new mold may begin growing and the process will need to be repeated.
10. Consider New Materials
You don’t necessarily have to restore your home with the same materials you removed. Now that you know water damage and mold is a possibility, consider restoring your home with safer, flood resistant materials instead.
Once your home is restored you should do your best to keep your home clean, safe, and free of contaminants.