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What Are the Risks of Post-Flood Mold and What To Do About Them



Floods are becoming a more common occurrence with unusual weather patterns and natural disasters. When your property floods, you not only have the problem of standing water, but also the threat of mold when the waters recede. Mold growth can cause many health problems that can lead to severe reactions. Proper mold removal can help to keep your family healthy after flooding conditions.

About Mold Growth

Mold is a microscopic life form that lives on soil, plants, and decaying materials. Mold is spread through the air and reproduces by producing spores that settle on damp spots. The mold digests whatever materials they land on, destroying these materials by digesting them as food. In addition, mold growth can cause odors and can irritate the human respiratory system. Environmental experts recommend controlling mold growth immediately after a flood to prevent health problems.

Mold and Your Health

Molds in the air and in the home environment can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. People with asthma can experience increased episodes or more severe symptoms. Mold can also cause sneezing, irritated eyes, runny nose, headache, skin rashes, and lung infections. Mold also produces mycotoxins that can be inhaled. These toxins cause nausea, fatigue, mucus membrane irritation, liver damage, and neurological symptoms.

Post-Flood Procedures

The most important step in preventing mold growth in your home is drying out the property as quickly as possible. This action prevents mold from finding damp areas in which to grow. Remove all standing water with a pump or by sweeping it out into outdoor areas. Remove wet materials from the area, including soaked building materials such as carpeting, drywall, fiberboard, insulation, and filters. Some of these may be able to be saved. If you cannot dry the material completely while keeping it in good condition, it will have to be replaced. Open the doors and windows and allow air to circulate through the flooded area. Fans and heaters can help to remove excess moisture from flooded areas. Run a dehumidifier for long periods of time to remove dampness from the environment. Desiccants are materials you can purchase that absorb moisture. Cat litter and calcium chloride pellets are examples of desiccants that are inexpensive and easy to use. Apply these in flooded areas to remove dampness.

Cleaning Flooded Areas

Scrub the area thoroughly with a detergent and water solution to remove mold. Using bleach is not recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency because of toxic fumes that can affect health.

Professional Mold Removal

If weather or other conditions do not allow you to completely remove mold growth after a flood, consult with a mold removal contractor. These contractors are trained in the specific techniques necessary for safe mold removal. Mold removal Bergen County can help you remove your post-flood mold growth and protect your family against mold-related illnesses.