When Sandy blew in, homeowners took many precautions to protect the lives of their family members and the value of their home. While many buildings are fortunate to be left standing, the problems associated with a hurricane do not end once the water recedes. Now, in addition to the general cleaning up of a person’s property, it is also essential to prevent and remove mold that can turn into a serious issue in flood-damaged homes. For this reason, the following four steps have been prepared to help property owners to protect their building from further damage while protecting the health of their loved ones from the threat of mold.
Assess the Damage
The first step toward handling mold removal is to assess the property to determine the extensiveness of the damage. Check around the building to identify any areas that were flooded. Then, each of these areas should be inspected for signs of mold such as a musty smell or visible mold growth. Mold can take on different characteristics according to its type; however, it can usually be identified by its greenish-black color and sliminess. Many people may also experience allergy symptoms in the presence of mold such as sneezing, dizziness and headaches. If the mold is extensive or it causes a person extreme allergies, then they will need to contact someone who specializes in mold removal. While waiting, there are a few things they can do.
Dry the Area Out
Mold only needs a day or two to begin to grow, and it can cover an extensive area in a short period of time. Therefore, any areas that have been exposed to water should be allowed to dry out completely. This step is so important that mold removal Bergen County residents rely on will begin their projects by pumping out any excess water. Then fans and other drying tools will be used to get the flooded area completely free of any water that can contribute to mold growth.
Discard Moldy Materials
It can be hard to watch a person’s favorite carpet or tile be thrown out. However, this step is essential for eliminating mold and mildew. Any water-logged or mold-covered items will need to be thrown away to avoid more mold growing after it has been removed. Mold spores can travel through the air and spread. For this reason, a person will need to make sure that carpet, tile and drywall that contains mold is discarded at the beginning of the project.
Deactivate Remaining Mold Spores
Because mold can lie dormant for a long period of time, it is important to clean the air with a deactivating spray or fog that will remove any remaining mold. Generally, these sprays should be used by an experienced professional who has had training in the use of chemical sprays for cleaning flood-damaged homes. It is important to make sure that the spray is used in hard-to-access areas of the home such as attics, closets and crawlspaces.
Defend Against Further Infestations
Mold removal is a complicated process that most people would rather not repeat. Fortunately, a person can defend their building against repeated attacks by making sure to keep it dry and free from humidity. Then, they should remember to go back through these steps anytime their home is exposed to water or moisture to prevent mold re-growth and ensure the safety and sanitation of their home.