Cleaning up and restoring your home and its interior items after flooding occurs can be a big job, especially when you consider how fast mold can grow in a wet environment. Restoring your home to its original condition and removing the water to reduce the chance of mold growth should be your main goals. Here are some tips to help you begin the clean up and reduce the chance of mold growth and also how to clean up any mold that does get a chance to grow.
Remove Excess Moisture
The first step in your water damage clean-up is to remove all the standing water inside your home. You can use a water pump, which you can rent from most rental businesses. If the flooding to your home is the result of a community flooding situation, clean-up organizations will often provide free pumping equipment to help you in the clean-up. You can also use a carpet cleaning machine or a shop vacuum to clean up any standing water.
Next you will want to dry out the air and all surfaces inside your home by circulating the air and pulling moisture from it. As long as the outside humidity is not high, open up your home's windows to help dry out the interior of your home, otherwise, keep your home's windows closed. Place industrial size or home box fans throughout your home, and direct their air flow upon the floors and other wet surfaces. As you move the air around it will help speed up the drying process.
Turn on your home's heating system to further help the water to evaporate, and consider renting a dehumidifier. Many home heating systems contain dehumidifiers, which can be helpful.
Discard Water-Damaged Items
Some items in your home after flooding has occurred may be damaged from the water to a point they cannot be salvaged. Porous materials, such as insulation, carpeting and its underlying padding, upholstered furniture and mattresses that cannot be dried out thoroughly may need to be discarded into the landfill. Unless you can completely dry out the absorbent materials of an item within 24 to 48 hours, mold will likely begin to grow within it and cause related health problems, even if you cannot see the mold growth. Home insulation loses its insulative properties when its internal air pockets become water-saturated, and it will need to be replaced.
Some wooden furniture can become warped and water damaged from sitting in water too long and may need to be discarded and replaced. You can choose to take your water damaged wood furniture to a restoration professional to see if they can successfully repair and restore it for you. This can be a helpful option on older heirloom and irreplaceable items.
Clean Up Mold
If the water damage results in mold growth inside your home, it is important to clean it all up to avoid health problems with you and your family members. Check the area size of the mold growth. As long as it is less than ten square feet, you can complete the clean-up yourself. Otherwise you will need to hire a professional mold remediation company to handle it properly.
You can clean up mold growth on most surfaces, including drywall, wood, and other similar surfaces. Combine a mixture to clean the mold and kill any remaining spores by adding one-half cup of bleach to one quart of water. Apply the mixture onto the drywall, wood, or other moldy surface with a scrub brush, brushing to remove all traces of the mold. If you can see that the mold has grown into the interior of any drywall in your home and you cannot scrub it from the material, it is best to cut out the affected area and replace it with new drywall.
After you have successfully scrubbed clean any mold, wipe the surface with the bleach and water solution and let it air dry. This gives the solution a chance to kill any remaining mold spores to prevent them from regrowing.
Use these tips and contact companies like Boss Systems Carpet Cleaning to help you clean up after home flooding.