If you have experienced a home flood, whether from outside flood waters or an interior home water leak, you know that the clean-up can be extensive and expensive. Although some items soaked by flood waters can be salvaged, there are many types of materials and items in your home that cannot be dried out and cleaned properly to be saved. Here are some tips to help you clean to remove mold and to rent the appropriate tools and equipment for the flood clean-up.
Remove Water Immediately
One of the first things you need to do to begin clean-up of a flooded home interior is to pump out and suck up as much water as you can to begin the drying-out process. Mold and mildew can begin to grow as quickly as one day in the presence of moisture, so you need to remove it quickly. You can rent a pump system from a local tool rental business, or from a local disaster clean-up business. A wet dry shop vacuum is helpful for removing water from carpeting, upholstery, and around the edges of your flooring.
Open windows, turn on fans, and circulate the air inside your home. You can also turn on your home's furnace to help pull moisture from the air, while using fans to circulate the warm around inside your home. Many furnaces are equipped with a dehumidifier to pull excess air moisture inside your home. This is important especially if the air outside of your home has a high humidity level.
Save What You Can
Begin to watch for signs of mold and mildew growth on wet or damp surfaces of your home. Mold and mildew growth will appear as fuzzy or spotted areas in colors ranging from black, gray, green, pink, and blue. If you are not sure if a substance is mold, apply some bleach to a cotton swab and touch it to the surface. If the color of the substance turns white, it is likely mold or mildew.
Remove the mold by wiping it from the surface. Use a rag and a cleaning solution of one quart of water and one-half cup of bleach to wipe the mold from the surface and let it air dry. To clean linens, clothing, and other machine-washable items, wash them in a clothes washer, then dry them in a hot dryer.
Items that are porous and cannot be washed in a clothes washer or cleaned properly need to be discarded in a dumpster or outside trash bin. This includes carpeting and padding, drywall, and roll batting insulation. Carpeting and padding can take too long to dry properly, allowing mold growth to occur, drywall loses its integrity when wet, and insulation loses its protective properties when it becomes saturated. You can rent a roll-off dumpster from a local waste management company or your city to accommodate the bulky items you will need to discard after a flood.
Use these tips to help you clean up after a flood. Also, contact Peterson's Service Corp for more information about dumpster rental.