Let the Mold Remediation Begin!
Those of us with a basement or attic use them to store items that we’ll later need at some point. This may include extra food (cans and pasta), seasonal clothing, memorable items…
If you are living in NJ, you probably have a basement that has a specific way of dealing with flooding. French drains, sump pumps… When the power went out during Hurricane Sandy, as well as other storms, the sump pumps no longer operated and the basements filled with water or the French drains didn’t work because there was just too much water coming in for the ground to absorb. The cleanup could be quick if you are experienced and have the right tools and equipment.
First of all, if the water has been sitting for more than a day or two, you do need to wear the proper protective clothing and mask to even go near it. Wear clothing that can be thrown out after or treated with bleach. Be sure to cover every inch of your body with gear since working with mold spores can cause them to travel and get into your body. Goggles, gloves and a mask are a must!!! Do not try to work in wet conditions with just a paper thin mask. Get a mask with ventilation that will protect you from dust, bacteria and mold spores.
After the visible water is removed by way of a wet vac or pump, fans need to be used to dry out the entire basement. This is a cautious step because if there is mold growth, drying out the basement will dry the mold, thereby allowing the mold spores to become airborne and contaminate other parts of your home. If there are windows, open them while you are down there. It’s best to set up a fan in the window that pulls the air out of the room so that any mold spores will be forced out instead of in. Walls, floors and any remaining fixtures need to be wiped down with a mold killing solution of bleach and water or with a detergents such as borax or vinegar. Items that are porous need to be completely removed from the room during remediation since they can not be easily freed of mold spores. Some materials like drywall need to be trashed because there is no way to completely free them of the spores, however, some items like clothing and draperies can be saved by being washed with a bleach solution. They can then be reintroduced once the room has been completely remediated.
If there is any sign of extra moist drywall or floors, it could be a indication of mold growth. If mold is visible, measure the size. The EPA recommends that you hire a professional company to remove mold that is a three foot by three foot area or larger. Mold spores travel once they are touched in any way. If there is evidence of mold in a specific area of your house, seal off that area from the rest of your home to prevent mold from spreading. It is also important to not simply dry the area in a hope to stop the spreading. Dry mold spores travel more quickly than moist ones.
The Health of your Family is Important!
When water has been sitting in any area of your home for more than a day, hire a mold professional. Did you know that mold and bacteria can cause a variety of respiratory and heart related problems? Allow a specialist to inspect your entire house so that you can be sure that all mold, visible or hidden, is found and removed. Many companies claim to know how to remediate mold, however, trust only those who have a business license, insurance and a great track record. If you are only concerned with paying bottom dollar you may suffer in the future.