How to Prevent Mold Growth When Restoring Homes AfterFlood Damage?
If you are living in the US, you must be prepared to face the wrath of the most occurring natural disasters like flood and storm that keep occurring at close intervals. Due to the deterioration in the environment, the scale and frequency of such natural disasters have increased. The resultant damage from floods has become extensive as well, and it gets worse when water gets inside your house. The problem with water damage is that the harmful effects keep lingering even long after the water recedes.
Water in homes not only causes damage to the property and personal items, but it also contributes to several health hazards that result from molds. Molds produce cells called spores that spread through the air and is harmful to human health. To limit the damage after the catastrophe, you must quickly take the right steps in restoration that includes clean up of the affected areas so that it prevents mold growth. Here is a list of things that you should do.
Check the damage
Water can find its way into homes even from burst pipes beside the natural disasters of flood and storm. Regardless of the reason why it happens, as soon as you discover flooding of the home interiors, you must first try to prevent its escalation, provided you be in a position to control it. Once the situation turns stable, it is time to take stock of the damage by inspecting the affected areas and documenting the damage as it is necessary when filing insurance claims and for other tax purposes.
Before you set out to assess the physical damage, remove all gas, electrical and structural safety hazards. Once you have ensured that the place is safe, you need to carefully inspect every detail to gauge the damage to the property and your possessions. Focus on the stuff that is above the water level to figure out the damage, discoloration and other changes they have undergone. Anything that is below the water becomes complete waste and you have to discard it.
Pump out the water and get rid of damaged items
Remove the stagnant water with the help of pumps and use a wet vacuum to dry out slabs, crawlspaces, basements, heating systems and any other places where water has reached. Use shovels to remove sand and silt that might have accumulated with the water, as it happens during floods. Once the home is dry, start removing finished flooring like vinyl flooring, hardwood, and carpet along with the insulation. Remove all drywall, plaster, paneling, and all other materials that were underwater as well as contents that the water has damaged.
The most important thing is to document whatever you are doing before and after the cleaning process by using photographs and videos. It is essential for insurance purpose to explain to them what has happened.
Concentrate on cleaning
The stage is now set for cleaning which is critical to prevent mold growth on the wet surfaces. Since you got rid of water at all places and the place is now dry, remove the loose debris and soil by using a HEPA vacuum, which is the best for the purpose. However, an ordinary dry/wet vacuum can also work. When using the regular vacuum, you need to use a hose for discharging the exhaust air out from the building. That prevents dust particles from settling down inside the building.
Use a pressure washer for cleaning frames, or you can do it with low-pressure flushing. Remove embedded soils in the structures by wiping with mild detergent followed by rinsing and wiping with clean water. Finally, dry it with vacuum to remove all moisture. Sanitize the surfaces after cleaning with a sanitizer made by mixing a quarter cup bleaching power to a gallon of water. If you are sensitive to chemicals, wiping several times fulfill the purpose of sanitization.
Ensure thorough drying
The only way to prevent mold growth is to keep all surfaces dry even though controlling mold spores can be quite a daunting task. As soon as you complete the process of cleaning and sanitization, ensure that you take measures in drying all surfaces within 48 hours. For drying, you can apply direct streams of hot air on the surfaces. However, you need to make sure that the air finally flows out of the building or collects in dehumidification equipment to prevent spreading of contaminants. Certified companies like 24-7premier.com know the best ways of drying buildings that ensures mold eradication.
Although the professional restoration services will do everything to prevent mold growth, homeowners must take the responsibility to carry on the good work. Unless you can keep surfaces dry always, it will not be possible to control mold growth that springs at the slightest touch of moisture or moist conditions. Use all measures including vacuuming to achieve the desired dryness and keep strict vigil all around to fight moisture with a firm commitment, which is the only way that you can ensure a mold-free living environment.