Structural Drying >> Roof Leak Mold

Initial Restoration for Flooded Buildings Hurricane Katrina Recovery Advisory November 2005 FEMA Part 1 NOTE: This advisory is specifically intended for buildings subject to the effects of long-term flooding and widespread mold growth following Hurricane Katrina. For additional information on more common water leakage and mold situations, Roof Leak Mold refer to the FEMA website (

Related links to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sites listed at the end of this advisory.[End text box]During the initial visit to a flood-damaged building, Roof Leak Mold the situation often appears overwhelming (Figure 1). 

However, despite the shock that often accompanies an individual's first look at the damage, there are a number of straightforward principles can be applied to assist with the flood restoration effort. In addition to following the steps outlined below, individuals should review the Hurricane Katrina Recovery Advisory, Roof Leak Mold The ABC's of Returning to Flooded Buildings. 
Figure 1 caption. 

Typical flood damage to furniture and interior walls (Hurricane Katrina). [end caption]1. Air OutTo promote drying, Roof Leak Mold open all doors and windows whenever you are present and leave as many open when you are not present as security concerns allow. Some styles of windows (double-hung) and patio doors may be able to be left partially open and secured from external opening by inserting a nail in the window frame or using a wooden dowel or stick. 

Upper floor windows can usually be left open all the time and will also assist in drying the whole house. Try to take advantage of cross-ventilation by opening windows on multiple levels Roof Leak Mold and opposite sides of the building.Open interior doors, especially closets and interior rooms, to allow air movement to reach all areas of the building. 

Take doors off their hinges if necessary to promote air flow.Open kitchen cabinet and bathroom vanity doors; remove drawers and stack them to dry.Open the attic access, if available, Roof Leak Mold to increase ventilation. Consider the benefits (improved drying) and risks (falling dust, insulation, or other debris) of adding an attic access where none exists.

When electricity is available, use fans to push moist air outside. However, Roof Leak Mold avoid use of fans if the house is contaminated with sewage as the air movement may spread bacterial contamination.2. Move Out Remove salvageable contents that were not impacted by the water. If the upper floors are dry, it may be possible to move such items to those areas. 

When moving items from impacted areas of the building to other locations, consider using protective mats Roof Leak Mold or non-slip drop cloths (e.g., fabric painter cloths) to avoid contamination of unimpacted surfaces.Remove saturated porous materials such as mattresses or upholstery, especially those with visible fungal growth. 

These items should be moved out of the building as soon as possible. Cover contaminated items with plastic drop cloths prior to moving to prevent spread of contaminants. Appropriate personal protective equipment should be utilized to avoid injury from possible exposure to mold Roof Leak Mold and bacteria.3. Tear Out

Prior to beginning tear out, install plastic barriers between affected and unaffected areas of the premises (typically between the first and second floors). This will reduce the potential for secondary damage occurring in the unaffected areas. Remove wet carpet Roof Leak Mold and padding. Tack strips should also be removed completely when the carpet is taken out to minimize injury during subsequent activities. 

Since carpet tack strips have protruding nails, wear leather gloves to protect hands from puncture wounds while removing Roof Leak Mold and handling tack strips. Removing wooden baseboards prior to carpet tear out may allow for their later reinstallation. Remove any curled vinyl tiles or linoleum over concrete floors, and remove all vinyl tiles or linoleum over wooden sub-floors to allow the wood to dry. 

Respiratory protection should be worn as many older (pre-1970s) flooring products, such as 9-inch square tiles and adhesives, Roof Leak Mold often contain asbestos. Although punching holes in walls for drainage is commonly recommended, this practice does not drain water nor does it cause the wall to dry faster. 

If holes are not punched in the walls, the drywall (gypsum board) may be able to be easily repaired and restored. If drywall Roof Leak Mold or plaster has been saturated by contaminated floodwater, it should be removed. Respiratory protection should be worn when removing drywall as some older drywall joint compound contains asbestos. 

If the water level was less than 2½ feet, the wall material should be removed to a height of 4 feet to facilitate reinstallation of full sheets of drywall. If the water level was greater than 2½ feet, Roof Leak Mold the wall material should be removed to a height of 8 feet or the ceiling junction, whichever is higher. 

Electrical outlet and wall switch plates and door and window moldings must be removed prior to the tear out of the wall material. Fibrous wall insulation (fiberglass, mineral wool, cellulose, Roof Leak Mold wood fiberboard, etc.) saturated by floodwater should be removed completely. Foam plastic insulation may be left in place and allowed to dry.

Flooded electrical receptacles should be removed completely after the appropriate circuit breakers Roof Leak Mold or fuses are deactivated.Wall paneling should be removed if it is swollen or if saturated drywall is behind the paneling.4. Clean OutFollowing any necessary tear out, clean up any remaining debris and muck. Squeegees, shovels, and brooms are effective for such cleaning. 

Personal protective equipment should be utilized. Detailed cleaning and Roof Leak Mold sanitizing of the remaining materials should be conducted. A shop vacuum with dry filters in place and with a solution of clean water and disinfectant in the tank (2-inch depth) to minimize the spread of dust can be used.Mold removal. Treatment with commercial mold removers does eliminate visible evidence of mold growth on exposed surfaces and is recommended for restoring flood-damaged homes. 

Tests have found very little Roof Leak Mold or no evidence of mold growth in the non-exposed (hidden) portions of the walls. Treating the non-exposed portions of the walls for mold control does not appear warranted in most cases. Spraying vertical surfaces using a compression (pump-up) garden sprayer with a commercial mildew remover is recommended.

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