Flooding can happen in many different areas. It can result from large amounts of rainfall, especially during a severe hurricane or tornado, and this water can leak into your house. Besides water damage, one of the major complications of flooding is the growth of mould, which can be a health and safety hazard. The following strategies will help you to avoid mould in your home after a flood.
Get a Water Sensor
If you live around a place where flooding is more common, you may want to invest your money in a nifty water sensor. This tool will notify you when there is water accumulating in a particular room where you install this device. Knowing as early as possible about flooding will help you to be pre-emptive in your clean-up process. Since mould grows quickly in wet and damp environments, the faster you can clean up any water, the less you will be at risk for mould growth.
Survey the Area
Look around the room, try to see how long the water has been sitting for. Carefully check around to see which areas were exposed to water and you need to take action with first. In this way, you can manage your time appropriately. Remember, the faster and more efficiently you work, the less chance you have of mould spreading! If there is a lot of water you may need to shut off your power, so that there is no risk of creating an electrical hazard, and electrocuting yourself while you work on preventing mould growth in your room. If you shut off the power, bring down flashlights or open windows (if it’s dry outside) to help give you more lighting while you work.
Remove Wet Items
It’s important to relocate any wet items that can be moved. Put these items in a place where they can be dried. Outdoors, or in your garage are possible places. If the water has been sitting for a few days, it’s advised that items more susceptible to mould be thrown away, for health reasons. This could include, clothing, upholstered items, and even food that’s in cans. Other items can be cleaned, and don’t need to be thrown away.
If you have any carpets on the ground, you will either want to carefully clean them (this may need to be done by a professional carpet cleaning service). The other option is to remove and throw away the carpets. Mould spores do not necessarily disappear once the carpets have been dried. They can still spread and cause damage to your home. It is important to ensure that all mould spores are removed as soon as possible.
Eliminate any Remaining Water
If there is still water from the flood, you need to remove it. You can do this by using a sump pump. Hardware stores rent out these types of appliances, so it’s not necessary to buy one. You can also use rags or towels, or a mop and bucket to remove any remaining water that is not able to be eliminated by the pump. The goal is to dry the area as much as possible. Mould can begin to grow within 24 hours of a flood. Removing this water as soon as possible will greatly reduce your risk of mould spores growing and spreading.
Use a Dehumidifier
If you do not own a dehumidifier, buy one or borrow one from a friend. Even if there is not any water on the ground anymore, flooding adds extra moisture to the air. Dehumidifiers remove this moisture and make it more difficult for mould to spread and grow. Fans can also help to get the air moving, aiding in drying out your flooded room. You can open windows also to help with air flow.
Clean Hard Surfaces
Mould spores can spread easily, especially in humid air. Cleaning with disinfectant and drying by hand any areas that are damp will decrease the spread of the mould. This includes cleaning and sanitizing walls and baseboards. Doing this by hand can be tedious, but it saves having to deal with mould in the future.
Call an Expert
If you are still not sure what to do, or you are already seeing signs of mould in your house, you may want to call an expert. Since mould is a health risk, calling a professional when you’re not sure what to do is always the right course of action. Mould can be very damaging to your house, so calling as soon as you see signs of it is very important!
Finally, mould is a health hazard, so it’s important to ensure that you are taking the proper actions to prevent its spread after flooding. Flooding can be very devastating, but you can minimize its damages to you if you act quickly!