Storm Damage and Flooring

July 10, 2012

Homeowners in our region who have experienced power outages and storm damage should be aware of the potential for mold growth as a result of water damage or moisture from the storms.  Power outages cause warm humid environments that are ideal for mold & bacteria growth.

Exposure to mold can cause adverse health effects in some people. Breathing airborne mold might make hay fever or asthma symptoms worse for those who have the allergies. It can also cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat or lungs.

How to Clean Up Water Damage

  1. Remove the Water- Use a wet/dry vacuum to clean-up as much of the water as possible.
  2. Use Dehumidifier- Remove excessive moisture and reduce humidity levels with dehumidifiers. This will not only make the air feel cooler but also limit the growth of mold and mildew.
  3. Accelerate Drying Process with Fans- One of the first things you want to do is to get fresh air moving.
  4. Treat Your Carpet & Flooring- All carpets should be steam cleaned to properly sanitize and deodorize. Typically water damaged padding must be replaced.
  5. Don’t Forget to Sanitize Walls and Baseboards- Everything touched by storm water should be sanitized. Clean all walls, hard-surface floors and other household surfaces with soap and water and sanitize them with a solution of 1 ½ cups of chlorine bleach to one gallons of water. Remember to wash your hands frequently during clean up and always wear rubber gloves.
  6. Check Furniture- Look for damage and raise off wet flooring.

Cleaning water-soaked carpets and floors is difficult under any conditions, but in the aftermath of a storm or flood, contamination by mud, silt, sewage and mildew can compound the problem. The Institute for Inspection Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC) recommends that it is always best to have water and mold evaluated and removed by a certified professional.

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