Floods encourage mould growth due to the constant moisture and humidity caused by the water. The resulting mould can actually be quite toxic, so it is important to have a mould control strategy to rely on after your house is flooded. Today, we’ve put together some key steps for mould control after a flood that will help protect your health and safety.
Re-entering the house after the flood
Mould can be extremely toxic. You need to ensure you are protected before you enter the house, even if you’re only visiting quickly.
You should take the following precautions before entering:
- Your footwear should be sturdy and waterproof, preferably with a rubber sole
- Wear rubber or leather gloves
- If you’re sensitive to mould, wear a respirator
Once inside, be wary of the signs of mould infestation. Some signs to look out for include:
- Musty smell
- Visible water damage
- There is more mould in the house than before the flood
- The house has been flooded for more than two days
Cleaning and drying out the house
You should aim to have the house dry and free of mould contamination within 48 hours of the flood. If your house is still flooded after this time, you should assume there is already a mould infestation in your home and contact an environmental consultant.
Before touching contaminated items, ensure those nearby are not pregnant, elderly or under 12. Anyone with asthma, allergies, lung diseases or weakened immune systems should also stay away from the affected area.
To minimise the spread of mould after a flood, you can:
- Aerate your home – open windows and doors or use fans (do not use air conditioners unless you are certain they have not been contaminated)
- Remove anything that has mould on it, including wallpaper, soft materials, mattresses and rugs – look for porous materials in particular
- Temporarily store your damaged items in a dry place such as the shed
Removing the mould
Attempting to clean a mould infestation without professional help can be extremely dangerous – not to mention ineffective. This is due to a few different reasons:
- There are no over-the-counter cleaning products that will eradicate deep mould infestations (they only remove the appearance of mould)
- Trying to brush away mould can cause it to release even more spores (which can contain mycotoxins that can impact your health)
Your best bet is to get a professional environmental site assessment. At Alpha Environmental, we offer environmental site assessments for your home to make it a safer place. Get in touch today on 1300 039 181 to discuss our mould control services.