If you’ve recently suffered from water or flood damage, then it is very likely mold is growing somewhere on the premise. Even if it is not visible to the naked eye. Water may be absorbed by the drywall, which provides a perfect breeding ground for mold out of sight. Once it is safe to enter the home again you should first visually inspect for any signs of mold. Mold tends to have a noticeable odor as well. You could also hire a mold remediation company to come and test the home for mold growth. Mold can lead to several adverse health effects. It is even more harmful to occupants with serious allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions. It’s a good idea to work with a professional team, but it is possible to remove small amounts of mold on your own. Here are some simple tips for safely removing mold from the house. 1. Get The Proper Safety Gear Remember, mold can be dangerous. You should never handle it with your bare hands and you should avoid breathing it in. It does the most damage once it is inside the lungs. This means you’ll need protective gloves, protective clothing, and a high quality respirator. Never attempt to clean mold without putting on the proper safety gear first. 2. Isolate The Areas With Mold Next, you need to locate and isolate all of the areas with mold in the home. Any rooms with mold should be closed off to the rest of the house. Open windows and use fans to ventilate the room. Fans should blow mold spores out the window and prevent them from spreading to new rooms. 3. Moldy Porous Materials Must Go Porous materials, such as drywall and concrete, cannot be saved once mold has started to grow. You cannot clean these items and must instead remove the affected areas completely. 4. First Clean And Then Disinfect Mold removal has two key phases: cleaning and disinfecting. You’ll need the proper cleaning solutions and disinfecting chemicals for the job. Clean the areas with mold and then properly disinfect. Remember to wear your respirator and protective clothing at all times. 5. Consider Borate You may choose to apply a borate treatment to any exposed wood in the home. It isn’t mandatory, but can really help. The borate will help protect against rotting, water damage, and future mold growth. 6. Flush Out The Air It’s likely the mold spores will become airborne during and after the cleaning process. Ventilate the rooms and use fans to keep the air blowing outside. Leave them running around the clock to ensure no spores remain. 7. Use Dehumidifiers Dehumidifiers are a great tool to have after the cleanup and disinfecting is finished. Use them to speed up the drying process. You can also use your home’s heating and cooling system. The faster it dries the better. Otherwise, new mold may form because of the residual moisture. 8. Keep An Eye Out For New Mold You…

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A flood is a devastating occurrence. It can be costly to repair, take weeks, and you may never be able to regain some lost items with sentimental value. Once the flood is over and it’s safe to return you will be eager to get back into your home and return to your normal lifestyle, but it will take some time. It’s important to return home as soon as possible to gauge the damage and create a plan for restoring the property, but it may be some time before it’s safe to live in once again. Here are some guidelines for returning home after a serious flood. Return To Evaluate The Damage You will immediately want to assess the damage caused by the flood. However, there are some safety concerns you should keep in mind to prevent further damaging the home or harming yourself in the process. The first thing you will want to look for is fallen power lines. It’s much more likely there will be down power lines if the flood was accompanied by strong winds or storm weather. For example, it’s very common to see down power lines immediately following a hurricane. Do not approach or touch fallen power lines. While still outside you need to take a step back and examine the home for any visible signs of instability. This may include leaning walls or sagging in the roof. Separation in the foundation or diagonal cracks are also signs of structural damage. Make sure there are no fallen trees leaning against the home either as this could pose a serious threat if you were to go inside. Avoid Any Possible Contaminants Flood water is considered contaminated water and could pose a risk to your health. You want to avoid flood water wherever possible as well as other harmful contaminants. You should always assume that flood water is contaminated and toxic. Potential contaminants include mold, debris, and asbestos. If your home was built before 1978 then it’s likely to contain lead based paint, which is also harmful. Flood water can bring with it all sorts of large debris. Keep an eye out for sharp objects, fiber glass, or other potentially harmful items the water may have pulled into your home. Flooding may also lead to an infestation of pests. Snakes, rodents, and even fire ants may take up residence in your home directly after a flood. If you see any of the contaminants or signs of damage mentioned above, then you should not enter the building until it is examined by a professional. Using The Utilities You should never drink or use your water directly following a flood. Assume the water source is contaminated and wait until you receive notice from the city. If you rely on a private well, then you’ll need to hire a professional to flush and disinfect the water before it is safe to use or drink again. The electrical breaker and gas supply should both be shut off before inspecting the heating system…

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  Flooding can occur for a variety of reasons, from plumbing or appliance failure, to a weather or construction related problems. Regardless of the underlying cause, proper cleaning and drying are essential to preventing mold from growing, leading to long term problems with the building. The following tips can help efficiently dry and treat flood damage to prevent mold growth. The first step to getting started is ensuring you have the proper tools and safety gear in order to avoid accidents or accidental exposure to dangerous substances. These items should include: Rubber Gloves Safety Goggles N95 Face Mask Rubber Boots Once you have the necessary safety equipment, it’s important to check the external structure of the home before going in, especially if the flooding was severe and long lasting. If the house was in a disaster area it might also be a good idea to make sure the electricity is off in the building to avoid accidental electrocution. Make sure you work with a partner to ensure you have help in case of an accident, or exposure to fumes that can cause you to pass out or become disoriented. The first step is to promote air movement by opening up the windows and doors and bringing in as many fans as are available to keep air flow strong and speed up drying time. Dehumidifiers are also important to help draw the moisture out of the air and bring the house back to dry. Once that is done, you can begin with the cleaning of the house to remove dirt, residue and buildup that can lead to mold growth or hazardous living conditions. It’s important to check hidden insulation cavities that might be soaked through, holding water for weeks and causing problems down the line if they aren’t dealt with. Check duct cavities as well for signs of moisture, and if they have been flooded they should be cleaned thoroughly in order to avoid bringing mold spores into the house through the ventilation system. Plywood and Sheetrock should also be checked to determine damage level, and in the event of long standing flooding they will most likely have to be changed as they will not survive or dry out properly. Interior basement walls will also have to be removed in order to properly clean and treat the outer concrete walls to remove residue, properly dry, and avoid mold growth. The exterior wall will need to be dried, and cleaned thoroughly before rebuilding. The basement is an area that is prone to moisture build up, so using a dehumidifier there is a good idea to speed up drying time, minimizing the chance of mold settling in and becoming an issue. If your home, office or other building has been damaged due to flooding, proper clean-up is essential to preventing mold, and ensuring it is a safe environment for people to be in. Proper cleaning, drying, and ensuring air circulation is all essential to avoiding long term mold problems.