Flood Cleanup – Protecting Indoor Air Quality. General sources for Flood Cleanup include the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and individual state water management agencies. For more detailed information about how to clean up after a flood and how not to block air quality problems from occurring, visit EPA’s National Service Center for Environmental Publications(NSCEP). For additional information about flood insurance, flood maps, flood insurance regulations, or flood zone maps, contact your local water management agency. Your local utility company also may be able to provide more specific information.
Mold – The effects of mold on people and pets can be devastating! Mold spores can cause sickness, allergies, and breathing problems. Long-term exposure to mold can result in burning, drying out of the house, and water damage to surrounding items and structures. Long-term mold contamination can also result in contaminated tap water, which is a serious health threat, and requires prompt mold cleanup.
Before undertaking a flood cleanup, disinfectant the surfaces to be washed. This includes the floors, walls, and ceiling of the affected space. Walls and ceilings should be thoroughly cleaned using non-toxic disinfectant products that are specially designed for walls and ceilings. If the contaminated area is not large, consider encapsulating the walls or ceiling in a protective sheet and covering them with plastic sheeting to protect them from further contamination.
After the cleansing and disinfection of the area is complete, it is advisable to call in professional contractors for evaluation and cleanup. These types of natural disasters pose a significant risk for the home occupants, and if a flood cleanup is not done properly, long-term health problems may arise. When dealing with large, structural issues, insurance companies will often require immediate structural repairs due to the fact that they will be held liable for any damages resulting from a flood. Also, if there is damage to the exterior of the home, there will likely be a requirement for additional and extensive repairs.
One of the most common problems encountered after a flood cleanup is the presence of mildew, a substance that can result in health risks if inhaled. For this reason, the presence of bleach or ammonia-based disinfectants should be immediately removed from the home. These products are toxic when swallowed, so removing them from floors, walls, and ceilings is essential to prevent health risks. Using a dehumidifier is also a good idea as this will lower the relative humidity level in the home and thus reduce the amount of moisture that collects on surfaces, creating the perfect environment for mold to thrive.
If any carpets, rugs, or upholstered furniture are seriously damaged by the floodwaters, it will be necessary to remove these items from the home and replace them with neutral, dry items. Carpet cleaning companies are highly skilled in this area of flood cleanup and will quickly have items such as upholstery and carpeting replaced by dry cleaners. Drywall is another item that can be extremely damaged during a flood cleanup, so removing it completely is essential to prevent further damage. The use of drywall repair material and brushes can help to mend damaged sections of wall. In addition, professional restoration companies can often paint small areas of moldy wall to cover up the damage done by the flood waters.