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PSA: Cleaning Your Home after a Hurricane

Did your home have water damage from the hurricane?

If you don’t clean up properly, you could be at risk for mold and other health hazards.

Until cleanup is complete, keep children, immune-compromised individuals and pets away from water-damaged areas.

If your insurance covers mold damages or cleanup costs, take photographs before cleaning up.

Once local authorities have deemed it safe to be back in your home, open windows and doors to allow air to flow. As you clean, protect yourself by wearing pants, long-sleeved shirt, rubber boots, gloves and goggles. If you suspect mold, wear a facemask with a respirator rated N95 or higher.

To clean hard surfaces, use a mixture of hot water and laundry or dish detergent. To prevent or kill mold, use a mixture of 1 part bleach to 5 parts water. Always use caution with bleach. Use bleach in a well-ventilated space and never mix with ammonia, as this causes toxic fumes.

Unfortunately, some items can’t be salvaged. Throw out water-damaged carpeting and padding, upholstered furniture, fabrics, mattresses, pillows, stuffed animals, books and paper products. Remove drywall or insulation one foot above the waterline.

Following cleanup, wash clothing separately from non-contaminated clothes. Thoroughly wash hands with detergent and clean hot water.

For more disaster recovery tips, go to disaster.ifas.ufl.edu.

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The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.

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