With the recent heavy rains and flooding down in Austin, Texas, it sparked us to think about if a flood were to hit us in the Pennsylvania/ New Jersey area, again. If you have lived here for some time, you know that there are some parts of both of these states that are prone to flooding if the conditions are right, especially in the case of natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. In the case of mold growth, flooding makes for perfect conditions after the water recedes, and can be very difficult to prevent. So what do you do?
Flooding can occur from any number of factors. Natural disasters always seem to come to mind but your home can also have structural issues that can cause flooding. Climate change and extreme weather can also cause your pipes to freeze or leaks which can create messy, water-logged building materials. Regardless of how the flooding in your home starts, the basic situational needs remain mostly the same. Here are just a few steps for you to take/things to keep in mind when dealing with a flooded home.
First and foremost, remember that safety is your priority. Make sure you do not enter the flooded area until you are sure that it is safe. Electrical issues and safety concerns are the first things that come to mind. Flood water can cause structural damage that you may not know about or be able to see until it is too late. Always wait until the water has receded before you proceed into any area where flooding has occurred, as water can cover sharp and dangerous debris.
After the water is gone, it is important to act fast. Timing is everything when it comes to mold removal. By not acting in a timely manner to get rid of the materials that were damaged or remain damp after the flood, you are providing the mold with the time it needs to start growing and spreading. It is recommended that you remove any materials that will not dry or that are damaged from the home ASAP, ideally within 24 hours. Generally, this includes internal building materials such as drywall as well as carpet and flooring. The quicker that you are able to remove these items, the less likely it will be for you to experience mold growth in your home.
It is important to keep in mind however that it can be really difficult to remove all of these materials on your own, that more than likely, especially if you are working alone, mold will grow at some point in the flooded area after the water has receded. If you do not have the means to hire someone to help you clean out the area before the mold has the chance to grow, you should make sure that you hire a mold inspector to come take a look at the situation after everything is mostly dry or after you have gotten what you can out of the home. He or she can tell you what your next steps are and will instruct you on how to get rid of the mold growth that might be going on in your home.