A flood is horrible because it can destroy properties and drive people out of their homes. Similarly, businesses, residences and public areas can be hazardous, especially in areas with rising bodies of water. As seen in the video below, all kinds of properties are damaged because of flooding caused by storms.
By the time the flood recedes and people can return to their homes, there are specific problems such as water damage, wood rot, and mould. Mould growth can be challenging to deal with because they can grow fast and can be difficult to get rid of.
Professional mould remediation companies like MouldMen are often called in to help clean up the mess, removing mould from water damaged properties. But before you call in the professionals, you can also take some other steps to deal with the mould yourself.
- Act fast
Once a home gets flooded, mould can start to grow within 24 to 48 hours. So, it’s crucial to get rid of it as soon as possible to ensure that an infestation can be avoided and prevent any potential health risks. So, before any chance of flooding or rainfall, knowing what you’ll need to do within the first two days can make a huge difference in preventing dangerous mould growth.
- Contact your insurance company
Before taking out your cleaning supplies, call your insurance company and take pictures of the home to record and report any damage to your property and belongings. This way, you can get the compensation to help you rebuild after the flood.
Many people stay on their property despite flood damage and its difficulties. So, making the most out of it and getting all the help you can get, especially if you have insurance, can help lift the load.
- Wear protective gear
Mould can pose health risks, but floodwater and the chemicals used to clean up mould are also dangerous. When it comes to activities that can cause dust and mould to scatter, it’s essential to use protective gear such as a respirator mask, gloves that reach the forearms, and goggles. It also depends on whether the person is considered high risk for infection or colonization, whether they have diseases, and more. But in general, it’s essential to keep the protective gear on during the process.
- Let the air in
If the humidity indoors is higher than outdoors, one of the best tips to deal with mould after floods & rain is to open the windows and doors to bring in some fresh air. But sometimes, this might not be enough, and turning on a fan and using a dehumidifier would be more effective. Ensure airflow throughout the home, especially in places like the basement and the attic.
- Dry everything down
Water causes mould to grow, so it’s essential to remove the standing water by pumping it out immediately or whatever option you have. Moreover, you’ll want to clean wet surfaces with detergent and water and wipe them down to remove as much moisture as possible and prevent mould growth.
Here’s a list of cleaning solutions you could use below:
- Mould removers
- One cup of bleach in a gallon of water
- Undiluted white vinegar
- 3% Hydrogen peroxide
Remember that you should never mix bleach with ammonia.
- Know which items to dispose
Unfortunately, you just won’t be able to get rid of mould on certain items, which means the only thing you can do is to throw them out. Remember, it’s important to prioritize health since it can affect a person from mild irritations such as itchy eyes or a stuffy nose to more serious health threats like complications with asthma. Holding on to certain items that can’t be cleaned up or restored after a flood isn’t worth it if it means sacrificing your health.
Items such as toys, soaked carpets, bedding, upholstery, and furniture might have to be thrown out, especially if they’ve been left wet for over 48 hours. In general, porous items and anything difficult to clean should be tossed. Some of these porous materials also include drywall, wallpaper, insulation materials, leather, and certain types of wood.
This will help eliminate mouldy items, prevent mould from spreading in other parts of your home, and prevent a possible infestation.
- Remove mould inside the walls
Mould can grow almost anywhere, especially inside the walls because it’s a spot that can stay damp. To deal with moulds inside the walls, you’ll need to contain the area using tape and plastic sheets to block the doorways. The plastic sheet should also be taped on the floor right in front of the wall. As an extra safety measure, turn off electricity and water.
After that, you can identify the part of the wall that’s infested and remove the drywall and the insulation. Then, clean up the surrounding area to get rid of some mould from spots of the wall that can be saved.
Once the wall and everything are dry, use a HEPA-filtered vacuum to remove all mould around and inside the wall cavity. Spray the area with mould biocide and make sure it soaks for a while, and let it dry out completely.
The next step is to paint the wall and everything inside with a fungicidal mould encapsulant. Let the first coat dry, and then paint a second coat. You can install insulation when this is completely dry and then apply drywall primer, drywall paint, and more.
A flood can cause immediate dangers and damage to any home. Mould growth can happen in any home, but homes that have been flooded are especially susceptible. So, it’s essential to know what to do, especially within the first two days. After that, any possible mould growth resulting from the flood will have to be taken care of. In the end, it’s all about moving fast, inspecting regularly, and being patient with the cleaning process.