How to prevent mold during/after a Hurricane.
With mass power outages and the possibility of flooding, here are just a few tips that could help prevent secondary damage:
Air flow. One thing that mold spores need to begin to grow is time. If there is humid stagnant air for a long enough period of time, mold growth is inevitable. If you’ve lost power and the indoor humidity begins to reach levels above 60% Relative Humidity, cracking windows to allow a breeze to flow through the house can be enough to prevent any Mold growth. Also if you happen to have a battery operated fan, now would be a clever time to use it, especially in areas that air flow is limited.
A clean house. This might be surprising to some, but the next necessity for mold to begin to grow is food. Mold eats cellulose based organic material. Dust and dirt can provide enough food for mold to get its roots in. Also dust and dirt happen to settle on the exact locations mold spores do, which is horizontal surfaces. For example the top of your baseboards or picture frames. If you keep your house clean, your removing an easy target for mold growth.
Dehumidify. If you have a dehumidifier and a generator, great! Use them if your able to. For many who might not be so lucky, there are some natural ways to bring humidity down. Google will be your best friend for home remedies but I’ll list a couple here for convenience. One easy way is to remove indoor plants. There are some products you can purchase like rock salt, or Damp-rid which you can pick up at a hardware store, that are simple, cheep and can be great temporary tricks to keep humidity down.
If water does enter your place of residence, it might be worth removing some drywall. For instance if there is a couple inches of water in a room that comes in from flooding, removing 1-2’ of drywall On the bottom portion can prevent any further damage. **Just make sure you ALWAYS take lots of pictures. You’ll want everything you got if you plan on making any kind of insurance claim, that includes pictures of damaged items as well.
If you leave your home/ evacuate, shut off water supplies to your house and take before pictures. You never know what condition your house will be when you come back and having pictures of what it looked like before can really help if anything goes wrong. Especially from a coverage standpoint. Shutting off your water also ensures that any water line going into your house will not have pressure behind it in the case where it cracks or breaks. Having years of remediation experience, I can’t tell you how many times a home owner called after coming home from an extended weekend to find their furniture floating. Trust me, it happens so it’s better to play it safe!
I hope this helps keep you safe and Mold free during this season. If your dealing with Mold or have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Our number is: 561-632-6387.