Homes across the region bear the telltale scars of the floods, their walls stained by water pipes reaching feet above the ground. The floodwaters not only left a visible mark, but also left behind an ideal breeding ground for mold and an e-coli contaminated Category 3 black water sludge, said
Lab tested samples taken by iMold in 195
“It’s definitely there if your house has been flooded,” said
While some home surfaces can be properly cleaned and disinfected, cabinets, trim, drywall, and any wood exposed to water should be replaced. The same goes for tiled floors, said
“Your insurance only pays once,” he said.
Removal of waterlogged surfaces should be done as soon as possible.
“They know that the longer the water sits, the more mold it will cause, increase the damage and result in a bigger claim,” he said. “It’s important to get in there right away and most insurance companies make that easy. We replace base cabinets, moldings, drywall and countertops. There are also the additional plumbing and electrical issues exposed to water.
“Water sanitation companies have been very responsive,” said
At the three-week stage since the hurricane, the DIY window has long since closed. Removal of mold-infested drywall is best left to the experts to avoid even more damage, says
“People are scared of damp drywall and moisture growth, but if it’s cut improperly you scatter spores,” he said. “Mold is worse once it’s airborne. You breathe it in, it’s poisonous and can cause serious illness and death.”
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What are mussels?
Molds are types of fungi. They grow in the natural environment. Tiny mold particles are found everywhere in indoor and outdoor air. In nature, molds help break down dead matter and can grow on soil, food, plants and other objects. Molds are also very common in buildings and homes. Mold needs moisture to grow. Indoors, mold can grow where the humidity is high, such as basements and showers. Molds produce microscopic cells called “spores” that spread easily through the air. Spores can also be spread by water and insects. Living spores act like seeds, forming new mold colonies when they find the right conditions.
How do you identify mold or the potential for mold when you return home after a disaster?
Things that have been damp for two days have mold growing on them even though you can’t see it.
View – Are the walls or ceiling discolored or showing signs of mold growth or water damage?
Odor – Do you smell a bad odor, such as musty, earthy, or a foul stench?
If yes to either, it’s mold.
Mold can look gray, black or even brown. Mold colonies may appear cottony, velvety, grainy, leathery, or glassy.
Mold will begin to grow on most surfaces after just 24 hours in a humid environment.
Certified/licensed mold inspectors are available in most communities.
The color of the mold does not affect the choice of mold cleaner, the cleaning methods are the same.
Use bleach to clean mold from hard objects, such as floors, sinks, countertops, cutlery, plates and tools.
Waterlogged items such as clothing, carpets, etc. must be discarded.
Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners.
Do not mix more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.
If the surface is rough, scrub with a stiff brush.
Rinse with clean water.
Dry the item or let it dry.
Take out items that have absorbed water and cannot be cleaned and dried, carpets, clothes, mattresses, furniture, any other items that cannot be disinfected. Floodwaters usually contain sewage, so take protective precautions.