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prevent flooding to prevent mold

9 Ways to Prevent Flooding in your Home

When a hurricane or bad storm parks itself above your hometown and dumps several feet of water on your home, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to prevent flooding in your home. However, many homes flood every year from milder storms and many of those floods could have been prevented. In addition to the loss of personal property and the expenses of repairing your home, water damage can leave behind mold and other health hazards.

Here are 9 things you can do in advance as a homeowner to prevent flooding and water damage in your home.
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mold prevention winter

Winterizing Tips to Prevent Mold Growth

Mold in the Winter

As the cool weather blows in and we pack up our bathing suits until next year, our minds tend to turn to snowball fights and Christmas trees. Winter is a great season where we enjoy family and friends, hot cocoa and mold. Wait? Mold?!?

The cold, wet months of winter are some of the most opportunistic times for mold growth. Luckily there are some steps you can take in advance to prevent mold growth in your home throughout the winter season.
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mold in houston

Essential Steps to Take After Your Home Floods

Hurricanes, Rain, and Mold

What happens to a city when a storm system dumps an entire year’s worth of rain in just 3 days? In late August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated the city of Houston, Tx and surrounding areas. The storm left 33 trillion gallons of water on U.S. soil before finally weakening. As you can imagine, the flooding experienced in Houston was intense. Many lives were lost. Homes were ripped apart, bridges collapsed and dams gave way. Even though the hurricane is now in the rear-view mirror, the health catastrophe continues to unfold in slow motion. While the focus of the news was on the shear amount of rainfall in the city (upwards of 50 inches in some locations), mold will be an issue for months and potentially years to come.

So, the question remains: after the wrath of a big storm has passed, what should a homeowner or renter do to keep mold from growing in their homes? Here are the essential steps to consider after your home has been flooded.
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moisture at home

How to Maintain Healthy Moisture Levels in Your Home

Mold Prevention

The best strategy against mold infestation is mold prevention. While there are various steps to correct a mold issue in your home, there is one vital step that must be taken whether the inhabitant (that’s you!) is attempting to prevent or fix a mold concern. That single, most important step of all is maintaining home-healthy moisture levels. In other words, reducing humidity–mold’s best friend.
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black mold guide

Black Mold: The Definitive Guide

Black Mold Is Scary!

Hearing about mold can be scary, especially if it’s in your home or business and it’s making you and other people sick. It can poison your family, your co-workers, your friends, and even your pets. Most people think green when they think of mold, but black mold, or Stachybotrys, is actually a very common problem in damp or water-damaged areas (Stop mold after water damage) and it can be very dangerous. (7 ways to know if a mold is dangerous).
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red garage door

Mold Growth in the Garage

The first thing to do when you notice any mold problems around your garage is to look for any leaks, whether its in the roof or any pipes running through it. Mold loves to thrive in humid and warm environments, so you have to make sure your home doesn’t have such conditions for it to live in. The tips of this article will give you a better idea on what you can do to keep it out of your house:
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home mold removal

Preventing Mold in the Home

When it comes to mold growing in the house, you would do very well indeed to get rid of it, or even better, to avoid it in it’s entirety! You will find that there is a huge amount to be said for ensuring that you are following the simple steps towards mold free living, because it can be more than just unsightly, though it certainly is that! Whilst mold growing in the corners on on your clothes will look disgusting and show that the place is not very well cared of, you may also have heard that it is very bad for the health. The spores get in to the air, and can be bad for those breathing it all in, especially the young, or those with respiratory diseases or difficulty. Have a look over these easy step to ensure that you are not encouraging mold in your home.

  1. Ventilate the house. As a general rule, you should ventilate your house well if the place is prone to damp and mold. A decent cycle of air will ensure that your whole house is drying out nicely, rather than sitting in stagnant air that does not encourage anything other than festering damp. You may find that opening the windows is not an option when the weather is bad, so try getting ventilation window fittings installed. You will be surprised at how effective fresh air can be in giving the place a really fresh feel, and a much more revitalized scent overall!

  2. After baths and showers, open the windows. If your house is prone to mold, then it is even more important that you open the windows after having had a hot bath. The steam form the hot water will settle in all sorts of places, seeping in to the paint work and various areas of the fittings, leaving you in a situation where you will have mold showing in a matter of days. Even if the weather is bad, it is pretty essential that you open the windows at least a little. Try just opening them a crack if it is raining hard outside, it will be worth it. You should notice that the glass in the room loses it’s mist pretty quickly.

  3. Do not leave wet clothes lying in heaps! Clothing is a perfect place for mold to grow, as it’s fibers give it a great amount of coverage and an easy place to grow. The damp that clothes will retain is they are left crumpled up will also encourage this, as warm and damp conditions are exactly what mold will require. Sweaty clothes from exercise or wet clothes form the rain should be washed immediately, or else left hanging in a ventilated place to dry properly. Do not leave them in the washing basket with everything else, as they will cause havoc!

  4. Avoid getting your upholstered furniture wet. The padding in upholstery will take on a lot of moisture, but because of how tightly it is packed, it will not dry out that easily. You will find that when cleaning a sofa, you need to use as little water as possible to avoid the chance of it getting saturated. Ventilate the room properly when you are cleaning, so that it can dry as it needs to. This problem can also be caused by leaving wet coats or just washed clothing on the sofa, and the upholstery taking on the moisture in to it’s padding. You will find that simply taking water out of the equation will help this problem massively.

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window molds due to winter

Hidden Mold Cleaning Tips

If you have experienced some unpleasant smells in your home, leading you to suspect mold is involved, but you cannot pinpoint the exact source, then you should likely be aware that water damage might be involved in what happened. Mold can hide in the most out-of-the-way places you can imagine, such as the back of a dry wall, under paneling, wallpapers, on top of ceiling tiles, under carpets and rugs and more. You can likely find mold growing around slightly leaking pipes as well as the surface of the walls behind large pieces of furniture in a moist environment, inside ductworks and under the roof materials used above the ceiling tiles.
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grunge equipments

How to Stop Basement Mold Growth

If you have a wet and moldy basement that may be due to a number of issues such as broken water pipes, spills, cracks in the foundations letting water in and more. This could become a threat to your health and your home, so you will need to do what you can to prevent it from growing. The following steps should be undertaken if you want to take control of the situation and save your basement before its too late:
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Bathroom Mold – How To Remove & Prevent Regrowth

Mold can grow anywhere in a home or business, but one of the most common places to see it is in the bathroom. Bathroom mold is more common due to the higher humidity levels you’ll find there, and the fact that the area doesn’t always get the chance to dry out properly. If a lot of people use the bathroom or if there’s no vent fan running when a person is using the shower – and for a little while afterward – it’s much more likely that dampness will accumulate and can cause water damage to your home.

Suspect a leak?

It really doesn’t take much for mold to start growing. If you see it, especially if it’s black mold, you’ll want to do two things: remove it, and prevent it from coming back. To get rid of the problem, you need to get rid of the source of the moisture. Check carefully for leaks, and for places where moisture and wetness collect. Along the edges of sinks, tubs, and showers are important places to check. You’ll also want to make sure that the pipes under the sink or for the shower or tub aren’t leaking.

If you notice a leak, have it fixed right away. If you don’t have a vent fan in your bathroom – especially one near the shower area – it can be worthwhile to have one installed. If it’s used when the shower is running it’ll take a lot of the moisture out of the bathroom. Just leave it on until you get ready to leave the room, and you should help avoid any mold problems that way. Those kinds of things will help prevent mold from coming back, but they won’t get rid of the issue that you already have. If it’s black mold, it can easily make you sick. Getting rid of it is important.

“What if I only have a small area that needs remediation?”

You can clean small areas of mold with a soap and water solution and a sponge. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly and get all the infestation. It doesn’t take much for mold to return, and even a few spores can start it growing again. If the area isn’t wet when you start to clean it, the spores can get into the air and spread throughout the house. Make sure to dampen the area if the mold is dry. You can also use bleach when cleaning, but you’ll need to be very careful what surfaces you use it on. Bleach can damage a lot of different things.

After you’ve cleaned the black mold, rinse the area thoroughly and make sure it dries completely. You can use a fan or a hair dryer to give yourself some peace of mind. That way, you won’t be risking more mold because you got the area wetter than it was before. Black mold grows quickly, so keep an eye on the area you cleaned for a few days and see if you notice the mold coming back. If you do, it might be time to call in a professional.

flooding and mold

Dealing With the Threat of Mold After Flooding

When Can I Safely Re-Occupy My Home?

This is the most common question often asked after a major calamity. Homes that have sustained any flood damage should expect to have a mold contamination with visible growth, and should not be re-occupied until the necessary mold remediation is performed.

Mold is a now considered as a national health crisis of epidemic proportions due to the health effects from exposure that most commonly occur by inhalation, skin contact, and sometimes, ingestion can be extremely dangerous to anyone, depending on indoor air counts and length of exposure.

It is strongly advised that mold remediation work involving large areas (100 sq ft or 10 ft x 10 ft) should be performed by trained mold remediation experts.

In normal circumstances, areas exceeding 25 to 30 sq ft should also be remediated by trained personnel who can contain the area and remove the mold effectively and safely. By following this suggestion, you don’t risk being exposed to harmful molds and their effects.

Do-It-Yourself Mold Remediation

If you decide to do mold clean up by yourselves, it is strongly advised to use protective equipment and dutifully follow these tips. Use dust masks and gloves, when inspecting areas small that have severe presence of molds.

Always remember to stay for a maximum of 15 minutes only on places were there is severe mold contamination. As much as possible minimize dust release as it also includes mold spores.

If you are trying to clean up an area of at least 100 square feet or a total area of 10 feet by 10 feet, use half-face air purifying respirators with goggles and gloves for safety purposes.

In the event that you are covering an area of 100 square feet it is highly advised to use a full-face air purifying respirator, gloves and disposable cover all. Doing so lowers your chance to exposure to mold spore to zero. But it is still highly suggested that a professional do this.

Mold Remediation in a Two Story Home

If you are doing clean up on a two story house, thoroughly seal-off the second floor by using poly sheeting. Remember to always run a high power exhaust fan in the area where you are working to provide ventilation and prevent possible infiltration of any airborne mold or bacteria into adjoining spaces.

To clean up small debris and dust, use vacuum cleaners with filters. After all these, clean off and disinfect the area with a detergent and bleach solution.

Health and safety advisories to remember when cleaning up after flooding:

  • Be aware of black mold that are growing on sheetrock. There is a possibility that it may be Stachybotrys chartarum. This kind of mold produces a toxin which has been associated with severe health problems in humans.
  • Be vigilant in looking for a whitish or yellowish cotton candy-like mold growth that is observed in many homes.This mold growth has been identified in some testing as Fusarium, which like the black mold or Stachybotrys chartarum, also produces a toxin that is associated with adverse health problems in humans.
  • If you smell a gas leak, it is highly advised to call your utility company. Doing so prevents the possibility of fire or explosion that may lead to more damaged property or loss of life.
  • Be aware to stay away from downed power lines and damaged electrical wires. A sudden electrical surge may prove fatal.
  • Usually, mold clean-up activities may result in the release of lead paint dust. It is recommended for households that have children under the age of 7 to have a lead dust wipe post clearance testing.Doing this ensures the safety of everyone in your household from possible lead poisoning.
  • There is a probability that the plaster that you may be working on may contain asbestos. More extensive testing is required to really understand and know the scope of this potential problem.It is good to know that plaster can be inexpensively tested for asbestos content. Cleaning-up of asbestos-containing plaster surfaces poses a very severe health risk to workers and occupants.
  • In the event that you are using a gas powered generator, place them outside the house. Long term exposure to carbon monoxide will kill anyone.

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