Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Clean-up tips for mold after floods

Mold exposure can lead to allergy-like
symptoms, including headaches and sneezing.
At a time when extreme weather events seem to become the norm, many residents in the northeastern part of the United States and Canada have to deal with flooded basements and high humidity as a result of hurricanes and rain-heavy weather systems.

After a flood, homeowners and residents need to be on the lookout for mold, which can start growing 24-48 hours after the flood itself.

Mold thrives in the right conditions, including standing water, humid air and wet surfaces.

The longer these conditions remain, the more mold can grow and affect the people in the environment, according to experts.

While each flood situation may come with its own challenges, ASSE has prepared some tips that can help residents stay healthy and avoid mold exposure.

Some tips to treat or prevent mold after a flood:
  • Dry the affected area as soon as possible, throw out anything that could be contaminated or that can't be dried easily
  • During and after a flood, take the necessary safety precautions to avoid electrical shocks and contact with contaminated water
  • Remove mold in a timely manner and be careful about the products you use (some may contain dangerous chemicals) – always wear personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles and a respirator).
  • Inspect the affected areas regularly and take action if you smell a musty odor, if you see active mold growth or if you think your health or well-being may be affected by mold.
  • Always speak to your health provider or mold experts
  • Keep the humidity level below 50 percent;
  • Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier during humid months (depending on the climate);
  • Make sure the house has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans, in the kitchen and bathrooms;
  • Clean all surfaces and bathrooms with mold-killing products;
  • Remove or forgo carpeting in bathrooms, basements, or other areas where moisture or water could be a concern.
  • Use a portable air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA plus UV (if possible) to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including odor-causing chemicals, mold mycotoxins and mold spores, particles, bacteria, viruses, gases and fumes.
  • Get all the information you need. This is just the starting point. Check out the guidelines and information compiled by EPA, CDC and other agencies and organizations.
Want to learn more about indoor air quality and our efficient air purifiers? Contact AllerAir to talk to one of AllerAir’s air quality experts.

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