June 23, 2015 2:08 am
Many materials are prone to developing mold if they remain damp or wet for too long. Start a post-flood cleanup by sorting all items exposed to floodwaters:
• Wood and upholstered furniture and other porous materials can trap mold and may need to be discarded.
• Carpeting presents a problem because drying it does not remove mold spores. Carpets with mold and mildew should be removed.
• Glass, plastic and metal objects and other items made of hardened or nonporous materials can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused.
All flood-dampened surfaces should be cleaned, disinfected and dried as soon as possible. To ensure a safe and effective cleanup, remember:
• Open windows for ventilation and wear rubber gloves and eye protection when cleaning. Consider using a mask (rated N-95 or higher) if heavy concentrations of mold are present.
• Use a non-ammonia soap or detergent to clean all areas and washable items that came in contact with floodwaters.
• Mix one-and-a-half cups of household bleach in one gallon of water and thoroughly rinse and disinfect the area. Never mix bleach with ammonia, as the fumes are toxic.
• Cleaned areas can take several days to dry thoroughly. The use of heat, fans and dehumidifiers can speed up the drying process.
• Check all sources of odor. Mold often hides in the walls or behind wall coverings. Find all mold sources and clean them properly.
• Remove and discard all materials that can’t be cleaned like wallboard, fiberglass and other fibrous goods. Clean the wall studs where wallboard has been removed and allow the area to dry thoroughly before replacing the wallboard.
Published with permission from RISMedia.