After a home flood, it can be common for mold growth to occur inside the home, especially when the moisture is allowed to remain for some time. According to the EPA mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours of exposure to moisture and should be remedied quickly to avoid growth and to prevent associated health problems. Here are some steps and tips to help you clean up after flooding damage and mold growth:
Clean Mold from Surfaces
Many types of surfaces in your home that have mold growth can be fully cleaned with a bleach and water mixture to prevent you from having to discard the item in the trash. Surfaces that are not porous and can be wiped clean with a cleaning rag and bleach and water solution. Combine one cup of bleach to a gallon of water. Be sure to allow the bleach and water solution to air dry upon the surface after wiping the mold, as the bleach will kill any remaining mold spores while it air dries.
Wooden surfaces and furniture can be cleaned of any mold growth, even if the mold appears to have grown within the wood grain. Wipe the surface mold with a cleaning rag and a bleach and water solution. Allow the bleach and water solution to dry upon the surface of the wood, which will kill any mold spores within the mold. Unfinished wood may become stained from mold growth. After you have cleaned and dried the wood, use sandpaper to sand the stain from the wood. You can also try a wood bleaching product to remove the dark mold stain.
Clothing and bedding should be washed in your washing machine on a hot water setting and with bleach added to the wash cycle. Then, follow up the wash cycle by drying it in a hot dryer, or drying it outside on a clothes line. Household items that cannot be fully cleaned of mold growth, such as upholstered furniture, carpeting, padding, and batting insulation should be discarded into the trash.
Test for Mold
After you have removed and cleaned all mold from your home's interior, you can have your home tested for mold spores. There are test kits you can order online or buy from a local retailer to test surfaces and air inside your home and its ventilation system. It is important to make sure all mold, including hidden mold surfaces to prevent health problems associated with mold spores.
Hiring a professional mold testing and remediation company can also be helpful for cleaning up large mold growth problems. A professional mold cleanup company will also be able to test to confirm all the mold has been removed from your home, its interior air and its ventilation system.
Use these tips to help you clean up after flooding and mold growth in your home.