Hurricanes bring rain, rain brings flooding and flooding can bring a problem that no one wants to deal with: mold.
Homes and buildings that have been flooded are vulnerable to developing mold damage.
Mold can be a very difficult problem to fix if left to its own devices. Mold also poses a serious health concern. Some people are very sensitive to mold, experiencing respiratory issues, skin issues or allergy symptoms.
For those living with compromised immune systems from other health problems, mold can be especially dangerous. The CDC reports that a recent study shows that children who are exposed to mold may be more likely to develop asthma.
Tips for Dealing with Mold Damage After a Storm
- Assess the Damage–After flooding, the first step toward dealing with mold is to thoroughly inspect the affected building. Once a home is safe to inspect, it’s time to determine how much water and moisture damage has occurred. If you inspect on your own, take photos. You might consider asking a contractor specializing in flood damage and mold removal to take a look. You should also report your storm damage as soon as possible so an insurance claims adjuster can get out to look at your damage.
- Get Rid of the Water–If your home has standing water, it is obviously crucial to get rid of as much of the water as quickly as possible. Homeowners can use a pump or wet vac to remove water from around the foundation, basement, crawl spaces, windows, or anywhere else that water may have collected. You will also likely have some sand, silt or other residues once the water has been removed. Clean this up as well as you can. You might need to hire professionals to help you with removing the water and residue.
- Throw it Out–The rule of thumb is that anything that was below the water level should be discarded. This includes wall material like drywall or paneling, insulation flooring materials like carpet or hardwood, and other wet building materials that were beneath the water line. Make sure you keep track of what you remove during the cleanup. An accurate inventory is important to help you get the insurance coverage you’re entitled to.
- Clean Up–Next, it is time to clean up. This type of cleaning goes beyond normal spring cleaning and may require a HEPA vacuum, a wet vacuum, and a pressure washer. You can clean surfaces with a mild cleanser to remove dirt accumulated as a result of the flood. After cleaning with a cleanser, you can use a water and bleach mixture to clean further and begin to attack mold and other microorganisms.
- Take Note of Mold–If you can see mold or evidence of mold during or after your cleaning process, it may be time to call in the pros. Professional flood restorers can use professional methods to eradicate mold.
- Begin to help the drying process to prevent mold from growing and spreading. Use a fan or some other source of airflow as well as dehumidifiers. Be sure to direct the collected air out of the house and into an open area to reduce the risk of letting the contaminated air blow right back into the house.
Get Professional Help
Cleaning and repairing your home after flood damage is difficult and overwhelming. People with children, elderly people, pregnant women or other people with compromised immune systems should stay away and leave the clean up to someone else. But even if you are a healthy adult, you may want professional help to ensure that your old problem is properly handled.
If you have questions about mold eradication or getting the help you need from your insurance company, please consider calling FL Legal Group Tampa insurance attorneys.
Contact us at 1-800-984-9951 so we can help you get the health of your home back on track.