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Mold Cleanup Post-Storm

If your home had any kind of water damage from the storm, then there is a good chance that your house has a mold problem, as indicated by any musty odor or finding discolorations on different surfaces.  It is important to take care of the mold quickly to prevent more spores from spreading.  While those with allergies or asthma are more sensitive to mold, anyone’s health can be negatively affected by it.  And while there are many different types of mold, they can all be treated the same (EDEN, 2012).  For starters, make sure you are wearing gloves and a mask (particularly a HEPA filter or one rated N95).  For porous items, they should either be trashed or thoroughly decontaminated.  Items that are made of hard plastic, glass, or metal can be cleaned by removing the mold using soap or detergent and then disinfected by utilizing one cup of chlorine bleach per one gallon of water, allowing it to then sit for ten to fifteen minutes so that it can completely kill the mold, and then having the solution air dry for six to eight hours in an open area.  For painted surfaces, again, remove the mold first with a detergent, and then use one cup chlorine bleach to one gallon of water to remove the discoloration.  Then rinse with clean water and give time to air dry before painting or papering over the spot.  Make sure the detergent does not contain ammonia, as ammonia and bleach should never be mixed due to the toxic fumes it produces.  If your home’s carpeting and pads or rugs have a lot of mold damage, it should be thrown away.  If the mold is minor, use a rug shampoo and carpet shampooer, and then sanitize by scrubbing the back of the carpet with a detergent and ¼ teaspoon of chlorine bleach to one cup of water, rinse several times, and then leave outdoors to dry.  If large amounts of mold are growing on upholstered furniture, it is recommended to replace it.  If mold is minor in upholstered furniture, a professional cleaner can clean it, or you can do it yourself by removing the mold with a broom and vacuuming the furniture outdoors (and discard the vacuum bag), use a clean cloth to wipe with detergent, and then wipe with one cup rubbing alcohol to one cup water allow time to dry (EDEN, 2012).  Cleaning up mold is not fun, but it is important because delaying this task can lead to the mold further spreading throughout your home, resulting in more cleanup, and getting you and your family sick.

References:

An Overview of Mold.  (2012).  Retreived from http://eden.lsu.edu/topics/humanhealth/mold/Pages/default.aspx

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