How to Avoid Mold Growth After Flooding

Please feel free to share this information with anyone you know who has been affected by Hurricane Sandy & flooding. Those affected need to work quickly to avoid mold growth.

 

To prevent mold from growing indoors after a flood, you must not only remove all standing water, but also any sources of moisture. This includes things like wet carpet, a wet couch, wet cardboard boxes, etc. The following is a basic mold checklist that we provide to our clients, try your best to follow these steps and you should be in good shape. Work quickly, time is working against you. Good luck!
 
Mold Checklist

  • Within 24 to 48 hours of any water event, or as soon as possible, remove all wet items, including sheetrock, carpet, furniture, etc. If it got wet, dry it or toss it. Discard anything that cannot be completely cleaned and dried.
  • If you see mold growing on an item or surface that can be cleaned, use hot water and a mild detergent, and dry it completely.
  • Moldy absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles or carpeting) should be replaced.
  • Do not bring anything back into the space until it is clean and completely dry.
  • Rent, buy or borrow a sump pump, shop vacuum, buckets or siphon hoses, whatever you can find to remove standing water from the space.
  • Use industrial blowers, dehumidifiers, fans, open windows and vents, etc. to remove the remaining moisture.
  • If you don’t have one, purchase a hygrometer at your local hardware store (costs less than $30). After you have done all of the above steps, close all windows and measure your indoor humidity. Ideally it should be about 30 to 60%. If it is higher than 60%, mold is likely to grow. Continue working to remove the moisture from the area and keep measuring until you can get the humidity below 60%.
  • A few preventative measures to keep in mind for the future: for areas prone to water problems, use dehumidifiers daily to control humidity, avoid carpeting or materials made from wood, and eliminate condensation by installing plenty of insulation.

 

Mold sometimes shows up several weeks or months after a flood or water event. Keep an eye on the area in the weeks to come, and if you see or smell mold, please call ARA or another Indoor Environmental Professional to ensure the area is cleaned safely and properly. For a list of certified companies in your area, visit www.acac.org or www.abih.org.

Here is a link to this mold prevention checklist as a PDF: Mold Prevention Checklist



About Absolute Resource Associates:
Absolute Resource Associates is a Woman Owned SBA 8(a), WOSB, EDWOSB, SDB, DBE, NELAC, ISO/IEC 17025 and DoD ELAP accredited small business, providing a broad range of environmental services to clients throughout New England and beyond. Services include Environmental Laboratory Testing, Indoor Air Quality Services as well as Federal Project Management. For more information visit www.absoluteresourceassociates.com