Steps to Prevent Mold After a Basement Flood
Basements often are the first to get flooded after rain storm or a broken pipe. Here are steps to prevent mold after a basement flood. Pump Alarm published some step to prevent mold. Here is the source of the article: https://www.pumpalarm.com/7-steps-to-prevent-mold-after-a-basement-flood
Mold Removal Actions and Precautions
According to the CDC, “In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people.”
Spring showers and summer humidity place a huge toll on your basement especially its moisture levels. One of the most damaging parts of moisture is the mold that thrives in the wet conditions.
Mold is an extremely potent allergen because the spores it releases affect the upper respiratory system. Symptoms include headaches, nasal congestion, throat irritation itchy eyes, and skin irritations. Luckily, there are tried and true methods of preventing this annoying fungus and removing its spores from the air.
The number one rule in preventing mold is the 48-hour rule– if furnishings or walls get wet from a storm or burst pipe, you need to dry it out within 48 hours to prevent mold from attacking.
Ideally you will want to prevent water from reaching your walls or furnishings, especially in a basement during rainy season. Want to know the best tips for a dry basement? Follow these 7 tips for a Dry Basement. You’ll definitely want to have a sump pump alarm that sends a text message, like the Pit Boss. This will act as a final warning should your sump pump stop working. A good alarm will allow you to place a sensor inside your sump pit and warn you before your sump pit overflows. This will give you ample time to respond to the warning.
If you already have water in your basement you’ll want to follow these 7 tips to dry your walls and furnishings:
- Turn off the electricity. Water, electricity, and human skin do not play nice together, please steer clear and turn off the electricity to your home before proceeding into the basement. Since it will be dark down there, you’ll want to have a high powered battery operated flashlight. New LED versions give you ample lumens and are priced affordably.
- Pump the water out of your basement. Using a gas-powered water pump, pump the high water out of your basement. The water pump will probably leave a little standing water on your floor, but will allow you to get back into your basement. You can then try to fix your sump pump and have it pump the remainder of the water out or you can use a wet/dry vac to pump the water out. Remember to remove your vac’s filter if it has one as it’s not made to get wet and will be ruined by the water.
- Remove all your wet items. This is painful, but necessary. Move everything out of your basement to a dry location. Your garage or even your driveway to dry out will work out best. You’ll want to clear up ample space for the next few steps. Recruit help from friends and family for this step as you’ll be moving furniture and/or loads of boxes; either way you’ll probably have a lot to carry and help will get the job done quicker (you only have 48 hours).
- Clean the walls and floor. Use warm soapy water and clean the walls and floors, be sure to give them a good scrub down to remove any dirt and grime. If you have soaking wet carpet, you’ll want to pull it up and let it dry separate by moving it in the garage or outside. You’ll also need to pull up the padding as well, since acts like a huge sponge and holds a lot of water. Create a tent with the carpets and pads to help air travel over both sides.
- Get the air moving and remove excess moisture. Once all the water is removed from the basement you’ll need to get some airflow moving to remove the excess moisture. Industrial blowers work the quickest, but if you are tight on money, then you can use fans, but they need to be powerful and close to the floor. You’ll also want to get a dehumidifier working to wick the excess moisture from the air. Be sure to change your dehumidifier pan regularly, as a flooded basement will create a lot of air moisture and the pan will fill quickly.
- Look for mold and return your items to the basement. After a few days you know if you have mold either by seeing or smelling it. You’ll want to hit any moldy areas with a bleach solution to kill the spores. Once you complete that step you can have your carpets re-installed and you’ll want to rent a carpet cleaner to clean them as well. Then bring your furniture and other belongings back to the basement.
- Keep a dehumidifier and air cleaner in the basement. The dehumidifier will keep moisture levels in check creating a dry environment that naturally prevents mold. A HEPA air cleaner will grab any residual spores and other allergens and filter them out of the air. These two devices will ensure your basement is a dry, cozy, and comfortable space for the entire family to enjoy.
Ultimately you’ll want to avoid cleaning up after a basement flood by having a sound sump pump system with a backup pump and a pump alarm. When the inevitable happens and you’re forced to dry your basement after a flood, the 6 steps above will help prevent mold spores and keep your indoor air quality crisp and clean.
if there is a large amount of mold. Most times, there will only be a little mold growth and this will be behind the walls. If you keep the basement dry, the mold will not start growing again. Mold can be a problem to those with sensitivity or allergies, but mold only affects people because of the spores it puts out. If the mold is dead and not growing, it isn’t putting out any spores. Most types of mold are harmless. If there is visible mold growth, there is no reason to have it tested. If you see mold, you already know it is there and you have no need to find out what kind of mold it is because the remediation will be the same.
>If you do get mold growth, DO NOT use bleach to clean or kill it. The EPA has determined that bleach is NOT an effective fungicide for mold growth on drywall and wood and bleach puts out harmful fumes when used in large quantities. There are much more effective (and less harmful to humans and pets!) fungicides available at the major home stores. Spray them directly on the affected areas (following the label directions) and let them kill the mold. These products will soak into the wood and drywall get to the roots of the mold, killing it completely. When the wood in the walls is completely dry, cover it with a mold encapsulating paint. This will seal up the mold and keep it from growing further.
If you have extensive mold growth,DO NOT TRY TO GO ON THE CHEAP! Hire a professional and certified mold remediation Atlanta Georgia company to clean the mess up. Sure, I know this can be expensive, but doing the cheap and easy thing is ALWAYS more expensive, in the long run. Stay away from handymen or the proverbial “Two guys in a white van”. Mold remediation is a complex and technical trade, requiring a great deal of specialized training and certification. If notdone properly, the mold will come back, and much worse! Do it right. The EPA standards state that if the mold is plainly visible, there is no reasonto have the mold tested, however, it is highly recommended that the affected areas be air sample tested one week after the remediation isdone by an independent mold testing professional, NOT by the remediation contractor. This testing will determine if the remediation work was properly completed. Remember, test AFTER and have the testing professional be independent.
When all is dry (keep the basement windows closed and run the de-humidifiers, usually, for about a week or two to ensure complete dryness), it helps for your to call a licensed and certified home inspector who is also specifically trained and certified to perform mold testing. If you can hire an inspector who is also specially trained in thermal imaging, that will help to verify that thebasement is fully dry. Ask the inspector for a mold clearance test, which is an air sample that ensures that mold spores are not present in the air. Make sure that the inspector does not also do mold remediation work, and that any mold remediation company you hire does not do the testing. This is a conflict of interest. If there are mold spores present, call a professional, licensed and certified mold remediation company. When they are done cleaning up, have the area re-tested by an independent mold inspector. For large or long sitting (you were flooded while away on vacation, for example) it is also wise to hire a licensed, certified and professional industrial hygienist to evaluate the problem and prepare a clean-up plan. Most professional mold remediation companies have industrial hygienists on their staff.
Hire Mold Remediation Company
If all fails doing your Do it yourself mold removal please feel free to call Mold Remediation Pros. (470) 205-4188