The Atlantic Hurricane Season has arrived.
This means severe wind and rain.
Hurricanes can create all sorts of water damage and it is important to make sure mold doesn’t grow.
The health effects are numerous:
- Obstructive lung diseases
- Irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Skin rashes
- Fungal diseases
Mold can form very quickly on wet materials. Wood and other materials that look dry can still be wet enough for mold to grow.
Environment Specialist, Janie Harris, has some tips on how to prevent mold after water damage:
- First take an inventory: List a room-by-room inventory of missing or damaged goods.
- Dry all wet materials as quickly as possible. If possible, use air conditioning or heat with fans and dehumidifiers.
- Remove wet carpeting right away. It’s best to discard it but if it can be salvaged- clean, disinfect and dry it quickly. Never reuse flooded padding.
- Cut away wet wallboard and remove all damp insulation right away. Even if the wallboard appears dry- wet insulation will stay wet long enough for mold growth.
- Clean items with non-phosphate detergents. Never use bleach. Disinfectants can kill molds, but they do not prevent regrowth.
- Do all you can to speed the drying of subfloors, slabs and wall framing before replacing insulation, wallboard and flooring. Use air conditioning, heaters, fans or a dehumidifier. Contractors who specialize in water damage restoration have special equipment that dry materials faster than other methods.
- Test the moisture content of studs and sheathing before replacing insulation.
- DO NOT use vinyl wallpaper. It will prevent drying on the inside.
- Damaged areas of the roof should be covered with a water-proof tarp. This prevents additional damage.
- Remove wet insulation from the attic.
Moisture or humidity above 60% is ideal for mold growth.
Humidity around 45% is the best to prevent mold growth and keep your skin from drying out.