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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cleaning Up Mold After The Flood

For people affected by flooding, the day when the water starts to recede cannot come fast enough. Unfortunately, that is when the daunting and difficult task of clean up begins. Mold growth is one issue many people will encounter as it is common after flooding or water damage.

Mold not only damages your home and possessions, it can impact your health as well. The health effects from exposure to mold can vary greatly depending on the person and the amount of mold in the home.

Health symptoms that may occur include coughing, wheezing and nasal and throat conditions. People with asthma or allergies who are sensitive to mold may notice their asthma or allergy symptoms worsen. Individuals with a severely weakened immune system who are exposed to moldy environments are at risk of developing serious fungal respiratory infections.

However, the long term presence of indoor mold growth may eventually become unhealthy for anyone.

The longer you allow mold to grow, the greater the risk and the more difficult it is to clean up. So as soon as it is safe to return home, you need to begin cleaning and drying your home and possessions.

Hiring a reputable firm that is licensed and trained in dealing with water damage and mold remediation is one way to avoid mold exposure. However, these companies may be very busy after a disaster. So if you have to do the cleanup on your own here are a few tips to help you breath easier.

People are exposed to mold by breathing spores or fragments. They also can be exposed through skin contact. To filter out mold spores, wear gloves and an N-95 respirator that can be purchased at many hardware or home improvement stores. In order to be effective, the mask must fit properly, so carefully follow the instructions supplied with the respirator. Also wear goggles that do not have ventilation holes, long sleeves, long pants and a sturdy pair of work shoes.

Because disturbing mold colonies can cause a massive release of spores, seal off the contaminated area from the rest of the house. Porous materials that are moldy or sewage contaminated should be removed, bagged and thrown away. To minimize the spread of spores, cover the moldy material with plastic to contain the spores before removal.

If you are concerned about the effects of a moldy environment on your health contact your healthcare professional.

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