Before cleaning activities begin, contact your insurance company and take pictures of the house and your belongings. Remember, drying your belongings and removing water-damaged items is the most important step in preventing mold damage.
There is a problem?
Was your house flooded? If so, and you were unable to dry your home (including furniture and other items) within 24 to 48 hours, you should presume that you have mold growth. You need to dry everything, clean the mold, and make sure you no longer have a moisture problem completely.
Mold Basics: How Mold Can Affect Your Health
Wear personal protective equipment. Wear at least an N-95 mask, goggles, and protective gloves.
Use portable generators carefully, outdoors, and away from home, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fires.
Before entering a moldy site:
- Protect your mouth and nose from breathing mold: If you plan to spend a lot of time working on removing moldy belongings or removing moldy drywall, wear a half-face or full-face respirator.
- Protect your eyes. Wear glasses that provide complete eye protection. Choose glasses designed to keep out dust and small particles. Safety glasses or goggles that have open vents will not protect you from dust and small particles.
After leaving a moldy place:
- Protect yourself and your loved ones. Take a shower and change your clothes. This will help to avoid bringing mold and other hazards to where you live.
Should I do it by myself?
If possible, it may be best to get help from experienced and qualified professionals. Hire a mold correction or inspection professional affiliated with or certified by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), or American Council for Accredited Certification ( ACAC) to inspect, repair and restore the deteriorated parts of your home. Also, your condition may regulate mold correction.
Taking mold samples is generally not recommended. Understanding the results can be difficult, and regardless of what kind of mold is in your home, you should clean it up and fix the moisture problem.
If I must do it myself, how can I do it safely?
Painting or caulking over the mold will not prevent the mold from continuing to grow. Fix the water problem completely and clean all the mold before painting or caulking.
Safety tips on using portable generators
- If you use a portable electricity generator, use CAUTION to avoid fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Use portable generators OUTDOOR and at least 20 feet away from buildings.
- Never refuel a portable generator while it is hot.
- Do not place portable generators on balconies or near doors, vents, or windows.
You may need to ask a mold decontamination professional such as Absolute Maintenance & Consulting to find out if the mold problem is completely solved. Although it is generally not recommended to take mold samples; instead, a careful inspection of the work area is usually appropriate to determine if cleaning is complete and if there is no cleaning.
If you have health problems that worsen when you return home, such as asthma or allergy attacks or skin or eye irritation, you may still have some mold.