Mold Remediation >> Mold Caused By Basement Flooding

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FLOODING, MOLDS, AND HEALTH Q. What does "thoroughly washed" mean? A. Washed in hot, soapy water. Q. What should I do about the floors, walls, and ceilings? A. Vinyl floors, drywall, insulation, and in some cases ceilings should be removed Mold Caused By Basement Flooding and replaced. 

It takes a long time for water under vinyl floors, and in the walls, to dry out. While they are wet, Mold Caused By Basement Flooding two things are happening. Water spreads up the walls and insulation much higher than the flood water level due to a process called "wicking.” As the water spreads through the walls and insulation, mold quickly develops. 

With the mold established in the drywall and insulation, it will grow anytime in the future that the humidity is high enough. Just sealing the surface with paint, polyurethane, Mold Caused By Basement Flooding or fiberglass is not adequate. Removing the drywall and insulation is the only way to determine the extent of wicking. All water-damaged materials should be removed and discarded. 

In general, hard surfaces that can be washed and treated with a bleach solution can stay in the home. Q. How long do I need to wait after removing the drywall and insulation to make repairs? A. Wait until any remaining wood or other building materials in the wall are thoroughly dry. This process may take days to weeks; however, Mold Caused By Basement Flooding replacing the wall before it is thoroughly dry will result in future mold problems. 

It could also cause structural damage in the future. The most accurate way to determine when the wall can be replaced is to test the wood with a moisture meter. Opening the building during the day if the humidity is low, Mold Caused By Basement Flooding and allowing good air circulation can speed up drying. The building should be closed at night. Dehumidifiers can also help dry buildings. 

Q. How can I sanitize walls and other surfaces? A. The mold and mildew should first be removed by scrubbing it with a detergent solution. For walls Mold Caused By Basement Flooding and ceilings, paint stores have mildew surface cleaners. Hardwood floors and woodwork may be cleaned with a phosphate cleaning solution such as trisodium phosphate, available in hardware stores. 

Be sure to follow the directions when you use any commercial cleaning product. Never mix chlorine bleach of any type with ammonia as the mixture produces deadly fumes. After scrubbing the mold and mildew, Mold Caused By Basement Flooding the surface should be disinfected with a bleach solution of one cup of ordinary household laundry bleach in one gallon of water. 

The bleach solution should remain in contact with the surface for at least two minutes to kill the mold and mildew. Fumes from bleach Mold Caused By Basement Flooding can be irritating. Make sure the work area always has adequate ventilation. After the bleach has been applied for at least two minutes, it should be rinsed or sponged off with clean water. 

Q. Is there more risk of exposure to mold when cleaning it up? A. Yes – mold counts in the air may be 10 to 1000 times higher when cleaning up moldy material than at other times. The most important protection is Mold Caused By Basement Flooding to wear a particle-filtering mask to protect yourself from inhaling mold spores. The ordinary dust mask is not sufficient. 

The mask should be a 3-M N 95 particle removal mask or the equivalent which is capable of filtering particulates equal to Mold Caused By Basement Flooding or larger than 0.3 microns. These masks can be bought at some home improvement and hardware stores. The masks do not remove bleach or other fumes, so the area should be well ventilated while you work. 

You should also wear long pants and long-sleeved clothing that can be washed or discarded, a head cover, waterproof boots, and heavy rubber gloves. Safety glasses Mold Caused By Basement Flooding or goggles are also recommended for eye protection. Try cleaning a small patch of mold first. If the cleaning process seems to make you feel sick, especially if you have trouble breathing, consider having someone else do the work. 

You should use these same protective measures if you are ripping out vinyl floors, drywall, insulation, Mold Caused By Basement Flooding or removing other moldy, water-damaged material. Q. Can ozone air cleaners help remove mold? A. No – ozone has been used to disinfect water and in some cases to eliminate odors. However, it can irritate the lungs, and some ozone generators produce indoor levels far above safe levels. 

Moreover, Mold Caused By Basement Flooding ozone does not control molds even at levels far above levels which are considered safe. We strongly recommend that you do not use an ozone generator in any occupied air space. Q. Can heating and cooling systems be contaminated with mold? A. Yes – the ductwork that carries hot or cold air, the blowers, and air handlers can become contaminated if they are under water. 

Air ducts that are made of sheet metal, or sheet metal with fiberglass insulation on the outside, can be cleaned and disinfected. Air ducts that are made entirely of fiberglass, or have interior fiberglass insulation may have to be removed and replaced. Furnaces Mold Caused By Basement Flooding and other air handling equipment may also need to be replaced. We recommend contacting a qualified heating and cooling contractor in your area. 

Q. After I have my house cleaned, should I have it checked for mold? A. No - testing for molds is expensive and the health department does not provide this service. More important, Mold Caused By Basement Flooding you can’t completely get rid of molds, so any testing almost certainly will find some molds. However, this does not necessarily mean you need to reclean you house. If you don’t see mold coming back, or smell mold, you have probably done an adequate job of cleaning your house. 

Q. Anything else I should consider? A. If you hire people to clean and disinfect your house, ask them to show you their business credentials, and provide you with a list of what materials they plan to use to disinfect the house. Also, Mold Caused By Basement Flooding ask them to show you statements from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the disinfectants they plan to use actually can be used to disinfect molds. 

Con artists and others trying to take advantage of people often come into an area after a flood. Be wary of anyone who tries to tell you that your health is in danger because of mold, and you need to do something immediately. If you are not feeling sick, Mold Caused By Basement Flooding you probably have time to evaluate the situation before you make a decision. And if you are feeling sick and think it may be due to mold exposure, see your doctor and consider temporarily moving out of your house until it can be cleaned.

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