Addressing mold after a natural disaster

By Adem Lewis / in , , /

>>Where flooding occurs, moisture wicks up
drywall, and wood, and any porous material. In about two or three days of wetness,
you are likely to have mold. Mold is a hazard in high exposure for just about anybody. But
it’s especially hazardous to people with asthma, allergies, other respiratory
conditions, or a suppressed immune system. So these folks should not go
anywhere near a moldy home. I’m going to outline ten steps to a safe and effective do-it-yourself
mold cleanup: One is wear protective clothing, including an N95
or better respirator; two, isolate the moldy area from clean areas and
ventilate to the outdoors with a fan in the window; three, remove porous moldy materials
because you cannot properly clean them; four, clean and disinfect if needed
for rising contaminated flood water; five, consider applying a borate
treatment to exposed wood — that will help deter decay and as well as mold as well; six,
flush the air to get all these mold spores out of the house as much
as possible; seven, speed the drying process with humidifiers, heating
and cooling systems — get the air dry to hasten the drying of all the materials; eight,
remain on mold alert — be alert to the scent and do visual inspections frequently
to find any new growth of mold and deal with it promptly; nine, do not
restore the walls and the floors or anything that’s been wet until it is really dry or
you could have hidden problems later; and ten, consider restoring your home with
flood-resistant or flood-hardy materials instead of the same kinds of materials
that you had to discard to begin with. There are eight principles to keep in mind and to
try to achieve to have a truly healthy home now and in the future: Keep it
dry; clean; pest-free; safe; contaminant-free; well-ventilated; well-maintained;
and thermally-controlled. Do more than just restore — make your home better. It’s also
a great opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Make your
home more resistant or more resilient to natural hazards. Keep your family safe. [ Music ]

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