February 22, 2008, Newsletter Issue #78: Floods, High Humidity, and Mold

Tip of the Week

Those who live in the wake of Gulf Coast hurricanes know about mold issues all too well, but those who experience flooding for the first time may not realize the full implications of the flood waters until they have receded and recovery operations are well under way. Flooding, combined with high humidity and heat, means the onset of mold growth. Even something as comparatively minor as a flooded out basement can become a huge health issue due to mold. If you are dealing with flood issues, here are some very important things to consider:

1. Replace all insulation touched by floodwaters. Even if the insulation is only slightly damp, it is a virtual mold incubator.

2. As soon as possible, get the flooded areas of your home and office to a strict climate control situation. Do not allow unrestricted temperature fluctuations if you can help it.

3. Employ dehumidifiers as soon as possible in addition to strict temperature controls.

4. Do not hesitate to completely remove damp wood, carpets, tile, sheetrock, and other potential mold-growth areas. Even a damp drop-ceiling panel should be disposed of right away to prevent mold growth.

Ignoring these mold hotspots will increase your mold issues later on, and could complicate the rebuilding process.

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