In the aftermath of a flood, homeowners must learn how to prevent mold from growing once the water recedes. Fortunately, with the following hints and tactics, the job won’t be a headache.
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You should not wait removing the musty odor that indicates the presence of mold, just like you should not delay removing the muddy look of a flood. Eventually, mold spores travel through the air and have a negative impact on the indoor air quality.
Those who are allergic to mold or have a weakened immune system will be particularly affected by this. Wearing gloves, goggles, and N-95 or P-100 respirator protection is a necessary precaution.
Breeding Grounds Of Mold During A Flood
Of fact, molds can thrive in any environment where there is dampness. However, there are only a few items in your home that are likely to get infested with mold after a flooding incident.
Wood, upholstered furniture, and other porous materials can harbor mold growth. Think about chucking it all away. Remove everything entirely submerged from the ground.
Cleaning, sterilizing, and using items made of hardened or nonporous materials, such as glass, plastic, and metal, is frequently possible. Drying the carpet does not eradicate mold spores. It’s best to get rid of mold and mildew-infested carpets.
These are the things you should check out before you start cleaning. As everything has been set up, cleanup will go much more smoothly.
7 Steps to Prevent Mold After a Basement Flood
The following seven suggestions will help you dry out your basement if it already has water in it:
- Turn the power off. Because water, electricity, and human skin do not mix well, you should avoid going down the basement and turn off the electricity first. You’ll need a powerful battery-operated flashlight down there because it will be dark. The new LED models provide a lot of lumens and are reasonably priced.
- Pump out the water in your basement. Pump the high water out of your basement with a gas-powered water pump. However, the water pump may leave a small amount of standing water on your basement floor, but it will allow you back in. The remaining water can either be pumped out using your sump pump or a wet/dry vac if you can’t get yours to work. As a precaution, always remove the vacuum’s filter, which is not designed to withstand water exposure, if it has one.
- Remove any and all wet clothing. This is a difficult decision, but one that must be made. You should take everything out of the basement and put it somewhere dry…. Using your driveway or perhaps the garage to dry out is the most efficient method. To proceed, you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of room available. As you’ll be moving furniture and/or a lot of boxes, you’ll need the support of friends and family to get the job done quickly (you only have 48 hours).
- Clean the walls and the floor. When cleaning the walls and floors, make sure to use warm, soapy water and to scrub them well to eliminate any dirt or grime. Pull up the carpet and let it to dry in a garage or outside if it’s soaked through. Pulling up the padding is also necessary since it serves as a giant sponge and accumulates a lot of water. To aid air travel on both sides, construct a tent out of the carpets and pads.
- Move the air about and get rid of any moisture buildup. Airflow must be maintained to remove any remaining moisture once all water has been removed from the basement. Industrial blowers are the fastest, but if you’re on a tight budget, you can still use fans, but they’ll need to be powerful and close to the ground to be effective. To remove the excess moisture from the air, you’ll also require a dehumidifier. You should change your dehumidifier pan on a frequent basis because of the amount of moisture generated by flooded basements.
- Return your belongings to the basement if you see mold. After a few days, you can tell if you have mold by smelling or seeing it. To get rid of the mold spores, you’ll need to use a bleach solution. Carpets can be reinstalled after this process, and you’ll need to rent a carpet cleaner to clean them. After that, return all of your possessions to the basement.
- In the basement, install a dehumidifier and an air purifier. By maintaining a dry environment, the dehumidifier will help keep mold at bay. Air purifiers with HEPA filters remove any remaining spores and other allergies from the air. Using these two technologies, you can ensure that your basement is a dry, pleasant, and comfortable environment for the entire family to enjoy.
To avoid having to mop up after a basement flood, you’ll need a sump pump system with a backup pump and an alert to keep you informed. If you have to dry out your basement because of a flood, following these six procedures will help keep mold spores at bay keeping your indoor air fresh and clean. A flooded basement can be cleaned with the help of the ideas below.
What’s the best way to prevent mold after flooding?
Mold growth can only be stopped by rapidly drying the damaged area. For this, follow these instructions:
- Increase ventilation if the outside air is more dry. The building should be open during the day and closed at night.
- Get rid of everything that’s dirty or moist. Disinfect or sterilize any exposed surfaces.
- Ceiling tiles, papers, and other porous or absorbent materials should be disposed of as soon as possible.
- Carpet extractors or wet/dry vacuums can be used to remove water from saturated carpeting if you can’t get rid of it immediately.
- Fans can be used to circulate the air in the room and speed up the evaporation of the liquids inside.
- Dehumidifiers can speed up the drying process by reducing the amount of moisture in the air. An industrial/commercial dehumidifier or a restoration dehumidifier may be necessary for big expanses and water-saturated areas, such as in a basement.
How long should I run a dehumidifier after a flood?
If you can, operate a dehumidifier in the area until all porous surfaces have been dried out. The time it takes to dry out a flood-damaged building ranges from a few days to a few weeks. Plaster and insulation can take a long time to cure, so it may be more efficient to replace them totally rather than wait for them to dry. Mold will continue to grow until the building is completely dry.
Low relative humidity is responsible for removing moisture from these surfaces, and humidity levels below 50% prevent mold formation. Accurate readings can be obtained with the aid of a moisture meter.
What kills mold after a flood?
For mold and mildew removal, the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommend using these cleaning products:
- Commercial mold and mildew removers are the first option.
- Tri-sodium phosphate or washing soda are good alternatives (5 tablespoons per gallon of water)
- Using a mixture of bleach and water as a third option (one-quarter cup of laundry bleach per gallon of water)
When using bleach, tri-sodium phosphate, or another powerful cleaner to remove mold, be sure to take the proper safety precautions and wear the right mold treatment gear.
Can You Dry the Water Damage Yourself?
While you may believe that using fans and wet-dry vacuums will allow you to dry up your water-damaged regions on your own, we’ve found that this isn’t the case for the majority of homes. Because they lack the right equipment, they are unable to find the hidden pockets of mold-infested damp places.
Hiring a company like Jenkins Restoration to dry out your water-damaged areas is your best option. Wet areas are dried out using specialized equipment, and mold is both prevented and dealt with on a regular basis by these businesses.
In most cases, insurance covers the expense of having a restoration firm like Jenkins Restorations dry up your water-damaged areas, so you don’t have to pay extra to get your life back to normal as quickly.
Does Water Damage Always Cause Mold?
Mold will begin to grow in the home if it is not entirely dried within 24 hours. Mold can appear at any season, even in the dead of winter. Unless your water damage is relatively modest, you almost certainly will have mold growth.
Can You Kill The Mold Yourself?
Despite the fact that some homeowners attempt to dry the area or spray bleach, the truth is that these procedures frequently merely spread the mold to other parts of the home. Even worse, air conditioning and heating systems can disperse spores throughout the house.
Make sure you don’t try to eliminate the mold on your own. While there are a plethora of “How to kill mold” search results, keep in mind that most of them are for surface-level mold, not water-damaged mold.
Can Mold Dry Up And Die?
No. However, even if there isn’t any moisture around the mold will continue to develop in the walls, floors or other areas where it has started to grow. It will begin to grow again as soon as it has access to water. If you don’t remove the mold yourself, it won’t go gone.
It’s true that preventing mold growth after a flood might be a difficult undertaking. Neglecting it, on the other hand, will just exacerbate the problem. Preventing mold and avoiding the doctor are two of the many benefits of following the above preventative advice.