Flooding is a likely cause of mold growing in the house but it is possible to prevent mold after you have experienced flooding in your house.
Talk to a Mold Remediation or Cleaning Professional
Getting a mold remediation or cleaning professionals to do the job is the best option one can have when it comes to preventing mold growth in a recently flooded home. The advantage of professional remediation is that it gives you the guarantee that the problem is dealt with completely and that you are safe living in that house after a flood.
Mold Prevention in the Event of a Flood
Floods create a wet, heavily moisturized environment ideal for mold growth. After flooding, mold will begin to grow after a day or two if remediation is not done immediately. Once a mold remediation or cleaning professional has worked on your home, you are sure to continue living in it and safely.
In case you are the DIY kind, take out your things from the house before you begin the cleaning process to ensure they are safe. Once you are done cleaning and the environment is free from the effects of flood, you can put them back in.
Get Rid of Flood Water
After removing your things from the house, you need to try to fetch out as much flood water from the house as is possible. Buckets and mops, or even pumps are quite useful when it comes to draining water. If you are in a position to, you can talk to the fire department as they have the right tools to drain water. In addition, ensure that any rubbish that flowed in with flood water is removed.
The Drying Process
Drying should take place immediately after flooding otherwise your home will be susceptible to mold growth and other after-flood related challenges.
Equipment like fans, dehumidifiers, and heaters come in handy at this point. Wetness is a safety hazard where electrical appliances are being used therefore perform a thorough check up to ensure that it is safe for you to use electricity powered appliances. Again, to speed up drying, you can open the windows to increase ventilation.
During flooding, the carpet is bound to soak in flood water. Carpets take time to dry and leaving it on the floor is certainly not a good idea because it will attract mold. If you can take it out, clean it thoroughly and let it dry completely then put it back the better. Otherwise, to be on the safe side, it is better off to dispose such a carpet.
Dry walls usually absorb water when it floods and especially the bottom part that touches the floor. If left for some time, mold wills start growing on this wall and inside the wall cavities. To prevent mold, cut out the bottom part of the drywall including a 30cm allowance.
If mold has already started growing on the drywall, remove the affected section, as dry walls are porous and cannot be properly cleaned off mold and stains.
Other Porous Building Materials
Other porous materials used in building the home like wall panels and wood also get affected by water. Wall panels are better off removed. Wood on the other hand, can be removed, dried, and then reused provided it doesn’t have any mold.
Insulation is similar to the carpet in that it also takes long to dry therefore it is better off disposed.
Wet building materials should be taken out immediately after flooding however, it is not recommended that you replace them before your house is completely dried out. Inspect wall cavities and seal them only when you are sure the inside of your wall has dried completely.
Soaked or Moldy Items
Items like fixtures, boxes and others that got soaked with flood water need to be taken out of the house. Never transfer them to another room within the house, take them outside of the house. If possible, wrap the moldy items in plastic to prevent spreading of mold.
Depending on the materials they are made of, you will need to decide whether to clean and reuse some these items or dispose them off.
The Cleaning Process – Your House
Having taken out items, dealt with soaked or moldy surfaces, and left the house to dry it is time now to clean and disinfect your house. Cleaning should not be a difficult task. Simply use regular cleaning solutions and disinfectants or antifungal solutions if there is need to prevent mold.
Clean all surfaces in the home including floors, shelves, closets, and walls.
The Cleaning Process – Sodden or Moldy Items
Non porous items are easy to clean. A simple wiping using water and detergents and then drying is enough to prevent mold from growing on them.
On the other hand, porous items that moldy or sodden with flood water are tricky to clean. Dispose those that will take more than two days to dry, as they could easily attract and spread mold.
For fabrics, you can wash them in a washing machine and dry them. However, those that have already been attacked by mold will need to be thoroughly cleaned and treated before they can be used. Again, mold sometimes leaves stains on fabric.
Mold Removal after Flooding
Incase mold has already started growing after flooding, inspect your house for those rooms that have been affected then try as much as you can to contain the mold and mold spores in these rooms so they don’t spread to other rooms.
Mold removal is best done after the house has dried and you have cleared all dirt. Ensure that you have done complete mold remediation process before moving back into the house.
Is it Time to Move back into your House ?
You will know that it is time to move back into your house when the house is dry completely and when the items you had removed from the house are clean, dry, and free from mold. Move your things back into the house after replacing the important ones that you had disposed.
Also, confirm that there are no signs of mold in the house, on items or surfaces otherwise, you will have to perform a second mold remediation process on items found with mold.
Mold odors and allergic reactions could be an indication that there is still mold in your house. So locate and address the mold first before you can move in.
A mold remediation expert is better equipped to inspect your house and give you a free-from-mold assurance.
Looking out for Mold Signs after a Flood
Even after proper remediation has been done, there is still a possibility of mold growing sooner or later. Flood water in many cases, does sip in the ground and will take days to dry and this will certainly have an impact on the foundation. If the foundation is affected, it is likely that the walls and floor boards will also be affected by wetness. This creates a favorable environment for mold to start growing and the initial sign, you’ll notice, is mold odor.
To prevent mold from growing in such situations, keep on a high alert for even the slightest signs of mold. Regular inspection will help you identify and address mold problems in the early stages.