Your house has flooded and once you’ve taken care of the water, you’ve discovered a bigger problem—mold. Now the question is--what do you do? Since mold can make you and your family sick, you’ll need to take care of the problem quickly, so here’s a few tips to get you started.
- Remove ay items that have been wet for more than 48 hours, as these items are likely to be growing mold even if you can't see it.
- Throw out any cloth items that you can't wash in hot water or clean easily, such as items made from leather, paper, and wood.
- Pull up saturated carpets and carpet padding. It will turn into a breeding ground for mold after a flood.
- Use bleach (mix 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water) or mold cleaners to remove mold off appliances, toys, countertops, flatware, tools, and other hard items. Be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions for any mold cleaners you're using.
- When cleaning up any mold growth be sure to follow the following rules:
- Always work in a well-ventilated area-open windows and doors and allow fresh air in.
- Wear proper eye protection, as well as rubber gloves and boots.
- wear a mask to prevent breathing in harmful fumes.
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners.
- Dry the item thoroughly or leave it outside to dry.
The last thing you need to worry about after the stress of a flood is you or a family member getting sick from the mold that can thrive in the damp environment. Once you’ve gotten rid of the saturated carpets, any furniture that was ruined, and other items that you couldn’t salvage and washed down walls and belongings with a bleach and water solution or a mold and mildew stain remover, consider spraying the area with a mildew preventer which can prevent mold growth for up to six months. While it won’t prevent another flood, it can keep the mold at bay in your basement and give you a little peace of mind.