Following a flood, it’s not uncommon to be a bit flustered. Chances are you understand the importance of having everything dried as quickly as possible to prevent further water damages. However, what about secondary damages like mold? If you’re in need of mold remediation, going into the project with a game plan is your best option. We’ve provided 8 great tips to follow that should help you get through the process.
You’ll need personal protective equipment for your eyes, nose, mouth, and skin to avoid mold exposure. A pair of goggles, gloves, a dust-filter face mask, and long sleeve shirt with pants are necessary. You’ll want a face mask with a HEPA filter such as the NR-95, NR-99, or NR-100. If you can afford it, then a Tyvek protective suit is preferred over the basic long sleeve shirt and pants combo.
Ditch the Dampness
Anything wet following a flood that cannot be completely dried within 24-48 hours should be taken outside. The contents that are unsalvageable may be thrown away. For insurance claim purposes you’ll want to take pictures and document all items in this way. This is also the case for any damages to the home itself.
Air Out the Home
All doors and windows should remain open while working on removing the mold. This will help air out the home and the contents within. If it can be done safely, then you should keep the doors and windows open while you’re away from the house as well. This should hasten the drying process.
Circulate the Air
Use fans and dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture from the air. Only do so if it is currently safe to use electricity. If possible, lift the carpets and rugs and allow the fan to circulate the air underneath. The dehumidifier should remove the excess moisture so that mold is not allowed to thrive.
Chemicals Don’t Mix
When using cleaning products, make sure to never mix them. Toxic vapors can be formed by mixing bleach and ammonia so DON’T DO IT! Use safer removal methods such as white distilled vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or a baking soda & water mixture.
White distilled vinegar kills up to 82% of all mold species and is often used in conjunction with the baking soda formula. This mixture is one of the ways of how to get rid of mold in crawl spaces that you can use, and it doesn’t give off toxic fumes (which, for somewhere like a sink that sees a lot of everyday use, might be worth noting). The baking soda can actually absorb all residual moisture making it a perfect solution to ridding the chance of a mold recurrence.
Hydrogen peroxide is great for removing mold on a variety of surfaces. Be careful not to use too much as hydrogen peroxide can act like bleach and leave a stain behind.
Using bleach or ammonia for mold removal is frowned upon and is more likely to cause more issues than it resolves. Skin contact or the inhalation of these chemicals can cause severe adverse reactions to your well being. Practice caution if you wish to use a bleach/water mixture on your hard surfaces.
Using one of the described chemical compounds above or another such as water and detergent, you can begin scrubbing off any mold that is visible. It’s best to use a scrub brush or the rough side of a sponge to remove the pesky mold and the residual spores and stains left behind. Ensure that you immediately dry the surface afterward as mold thrives on moisture.
Make sure that your entire home is fully dry as soon as possible. As mentioned previous, mold spores only need 24-48 hours of sitting in water to begin showing mold growth. The quicker the dry, the less likely for mold growth to occur. You will also want to make sure to dust your home as well as mold spores can latch onto the particles and travel along the air to other rooms of the house.
There is an abundance of local companies and services with the tools and training to help. It’s recommended that you leave the task of mold removal to the professionals. This ensures that you’ll have the mold removed correctly the first time. All mold needs to be removed and calling on a qualified contractor will help you avoid further complications down the road.