East Coast or West Coast many of us across the country will have had to deal with the trauma of water damage in our homes before this year is over. Unfortunately, many of the problems caused by flooding or leaks do not disappear with the water – and one of the most pernicious of these is mold. Mold can create unpleasant odors, cause nasty stains, and in the worst cases mold can release toxins into the air and cause major health problems. If you are wondering how to prevent or eliminate mold in your home in a healthy and environmentally sound way, here are some of our recommendations.
+ Be sure to protect yourself while dealing with mold and always wear gloves and a mask. We recommend using natural latex gloves.
+ Make sure that all water has been removed and the space is completely dried out. Running a space heater and/or a dehumidifier in the affected area will speed drying.
+ Softer materials like carpeting or ceiling tiles that got wet will likely have to be disposed of because they are typically too difficult to clean thoroughly enough. Be sure to remember that the subfloor underneath your carpeting or other flooring may need to be addressed as well.
+ Remaining surfaces can be scrubbed with Moldex to kill and prevent mold. Surfaces can also be treated with Oxyboost to kill mold or mildew. Mix 2 to 3 ounces of Oxyboost into a gallon of hot water and scrub the area down, then rinse and repeat if necesary. Both Moldex and Oxyboost are free of dyes, bleach, and ammonia.
+ Once mold has been removed, dry the surfaces completely before repainting, or covering with flooring, insulation or drywall.
– If you are replacing the carpet or flooring in a basement, consider Tyroc Underlayment – it allows air-flow underneath flooring and is itself impervious to mold
– If you have to replace drywall, we recommend Mold Tough Drywall – it will help prevent mold from taking hold in the walls
+ After drying, walls should be primed with AFM Transitional Primer (AFM 80190) and painted with Moldex Paint or YOLO Colorhouse paints. (YOLO paint is mold and mildew resistant because it contains an antimicrobial ingredient – the same stuff used in dandruff shampoos)
+ Once a home has dried out, been cleaned thoroughly and refinished or repainted, we recommend using an Austin Air Purifer in the space on an ongoing basis. Austin Air units contain filters that are fine enough to trap lingering mold spores and other contaminants. Austin Air Purifiers are trusted by FEMA and the Red Cross.
Recommended reading from the EPA:
Flood Cleanup: Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems
Mold Cleanup Guidelines
If mold covers more than 10 square feet, the EPA recommends that these guidelines are followed:
Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings
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