Flooding, plumbing leaks can lead to harmful mold growth on and underneath your home’s flooring.
Exposure to mold can cause health problems for some people by irritating the nose, eyes throat or lungs. Breathing airborne mold may trigger symptoms in those with hay fever, asthma, and allergies.
The best way to keep mold from spreading is to act fast when you know water is present. If you follow these six steps you should stay mold free.
- Remove water as quickly as possible
Use a wet/dry vacuum to clean up as much water as soon as possible. These machines are the most effective tools for removing water and can be rented or provided by water and smoke damage remediation companies that specialize in repairing residential flood damage.
- Use fans to speed up carpet drying process
It can take several days for fans to completely dry a water-damaged area. The good news is that they also help circulate fresh air.
“When you think it’s all nice and dry inside, it’s not,” Lipford adds. “Keep the fans going 24 hours a day for at least another week or so.”
Homeowners can rent high-power drying fans from local home improvement stores with tool rental service.
- Use a dehumidifier to dry out the room
These machines remove excessive moisture, which makes the air feel cooler and limits mold and mildew growth. Any equipment that helps dry out the air and the ground will speed up the drying time for your damaged floors and coverings.
- Steam clean carpet and flooring
Steam clean all carpets to properly sanitize and deodorize. Typically, water-damaged carpet padding must be replaced.
Replacing just the padding is much less expensive than having to re-carpet your entire home.
- Sanitize walls and baseboards
Anything touched by storm water should be sanitized. Clean all walls, hard-surface floors and other household surfaces with soap and water.Sanitize them with a solution of 1.5 cups of chlorine bleach to one gallon of water. Remember to wear rubber gloves during cleanup.
- Check furniture
Look for water damage and remove furniture from wet flooring.
Water damage can easily be hidden underneath rugs or carpet, so be sure to give your home a thorough inspection if you suspect water damage.Cleaning water-soaked carpets and floors are difficult under any conditions, but in the aftermath of a storm or flood, contamination by mud, silt, sewage, and mildew, can compound the problem. The Institute for Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification recommends that in such cases, a certified mold restoration service provider should evaluate water damage and remove mold.