Did your home suffer from flood and water damage?
Water damage is a serious issue for homeowners. When your property gets damaged due to a flood in your area, the risk of mold skyrockets. Even though the initial damage may seem like nothing much, the underlying damage could be extensive.
Mold isn’t only an aesthetic problem. Some types of mold can cause significant health ailments in susceptible individuals. Since the threat of mold is severe after flooding, you should take quick steps to counter the unwanted growth in your home.
In the following article, you’ll learn about the top tips and recommendations on how to get your home back in its original state after flood and water damage. Follow this practical advice to counter the long-term detrimental effects of mold and mildew.
When should you start restoring your home?
For starters, you should aim to start restoring your home as soon as possible. Just take into account the particular state of your property. If anything looks or feels unsafe, ditch DIY efforts and contact qualified professionals immediately.
There isn’t too much time after the water has intruded your home as you will always have mold spores flying around indoors. The mold spores usually start growing within 24 to 48 hours after the conditions are right for them to take hold.
What are the first steps you should take?
The first step for restoring your home after flood and water damage is sorting all your personal belongings that have come into contact with water. Exposed porous items usually need to be thrown away as they can easily harbor mold.
Is your carpeting or upholstered furniture soaked from all that floodwater? Discard them if you spot any signs of mildew or mold. Drying these items usually isn’t effective because the material provides a safe haven for mold spores.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to throw away everything that has been exposed to the intruding waters. Virtually all types of nonporous materials require disinfecting and cleaning after which they are good to go again.
While things made of metal, plastic, and glass are safe after proper cleaning, you may find additional items that are better off discarded after getting into contact with contaminated water. For instance, sloshed wallboard and fiberglass should be removed from your home.
How to restore surfaces into a safe and healthy state?
You need to deal with affected surfaces at the earliest opportunity. These areas of your home should be cleaned, disinfected, and dried. The first step before anything else is to open your windows to ensure proper ventilation during the cleaning.
Additionally, you have to make sure that you have the right protection. Rubber gloves and non-vented goggles are essential. High mold concentration means that you should wear a full-face mask with an official N-95 certification.
The surfaces can be cleaned with soap or detergent that doesn’t contain ammonia. In addition to the surfaces, take care to address any personal belongings that have come into contact with the floodwaters in any way.
Disinfecting is easy. All you need is to mix household bleach (1-1/2 cups) with water (1 gallon). You can use the mix to take care of all the disinfection needs of the affected surfaces in your home. Make sure not to mix bleach and ammonia as the fumes are toxic.
The drying process takes at least a few days. Do you want to speed up the process? You can use fans, space heaters, and dehumidifiers for that. As your home is drying, stay attentive and check for unfamiliar or straight off unpleasant odors.
Musty and moldy smells likely indicates that you have mold growing in tight spaces or behind wall coverings. Getting rid of these hidden issues is something that should be tackled by a professional mold remediation company.
Another scenario that calls for professional help is sewage floods. It doesn’t take much effort to indicate if that’s the case due to the distinct odor. Sewage carries even more health risks than regular floodwater, which is why professional intervention is the only right way to proceed ahead.
In a Nutshell: Restoring Your Home After Flood and Water Damage
The flooding of your home is a serious problem. It’s likely that many of your personal belongings, appliances, and of upholstery have been affected. Your carpentry and drywall could harbor mold issues as well.
Surfaces and items that can be saved should be properly cleaned, disinfected, and dried. Items made from porous materials require discarding if they have gotten soaked. That’s because they have a higher chance of containing mold spores.