If you were recently impacted by the flooding here in Colorado and are concerned that your home may have hidden mold or need help with mold removal; we are here to provide you with our services and assist with any questions you may have.
When removing mold or mold damaged building materials, there are certain precautions you should take to protect your health and those of individuals working or present in your home.
Reentering Your Flooded Home
When returning to a home that’s been flooded after natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, be aware that your house may be contaminated with mold or sewage, which can cause health risks for your family.
When You First Reenter Your Home
If you have standing water in your home and can turn off the main power from a dry location, then go ahead and turn off the power, even if it delays cleaning. If you must enter standing water to access the main power switch, then call an electrician to turn it off. NEVER turn power on or off yourself or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water.
- Have an electrician check the house’s electrical system before turning the power on again. RDS’ sister company Always Best Choice Electrical can assist, contact them at 303-444-7153.
- If the house has been closed up for several days, enter briefly to open doors and windows to let the house air out for awhile (at least 30 minutes) before you stay for any length of time.
- If your home has been flooded and has been closed up for several days, presume your home has been contaminated with mold. (See Protect Yourself from Mold.)
- If your home has been flooded, it also may be contaminated with sewage. (See After a Hurricane or Flood: Cleanup of Flood Water.)
Dry Out Your House
If flood or storm water has entered your home, dry it out as soon as possible. Follow these steps:
- Photo of electric fan. If you have electricity and an electrician has determined that it’s safe to turn it on, use a “wet-dry” shop vacuum (or the vacuum function of a carpet steam cleaner), an electric-powered water transfer pump, or sump pump to remove standing water. If you are operating equipment in wet areas, be sure to wear rubber boots.
- If you do not have electricity, or it is not safe to turn it on, you can use a portable generator to power equipment to remove standing water. Note: If you must use a gasoline-powered pump, generator, pressure washer, or any other gasoline-powered tools to clean your home, never operate the gasoline engine inside a home, basement, garage, carport, porch, or other enclosed or partially enclosed structures, even if the windows and doors are open. Such improper use can create dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If weather permits, open windows and doors of the house to aid in the drying-out process.
- Use fans and dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture. Fans should be placed at a window or door to blow the air outwards rather than inwards, so not to spread the mold.
- Have your home heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system checked and cleaned by a maintenance or service professional who is experienced in mold clean-up before you turn it on. If the HVAC system was flooded with water, turning on the mold-contaminated HVAC will spread mold throughout the house. Professional cleaning will kill the mold and prevent later mold growth. When the service determines that your system is clean and if it is safe to do so, you can turn it on and use it to help remove excess moisture from your home.
- Prevent water outdoors from reentering your home. For example, rain water from gutters or the roof should drain away from the house; the ground around the house should slope away from the house to keep basements and crawl spaces dry.
- Ensure that crawl spaces in basements have proper drainage to limit water seepage. Ventilate to allow the area to dry out.
When to Test for MOLD or building envelope problems?
- After a leak, water damage or sewage back-up. Often leaks and flooding water can disappear under floor boards or into water cavities. If you have recently experienced a leak or flood of any kind, it is advised that you insure no mold is forming as a result.
- When an environment or area is damp for any reason. Often times condensation can cause water build up in places where no leaks or water can get to. Dampness is a strong reason to have mold testing done.
- When visible mold is present. Mold does not usually go away by using household treatments like bleach. In many cases spraying bleach water on mold can result in more mold growth. Mold is not easy to control when it has found a suitable environment.
- When a foul or musty odor is detected.
- When people or pets are experiencing allergy-like symptoms. Often, mold can be forming in places that cannot be seen or revealed without professional testing.
- Before purchasing, renting or selling a home or property. A simple mold test performed by our certified inspectors, may save you thousands of dollars. Call us to learn more about helping to test property that you are investing in or considering purchasing. Let RDS help you protect your investment.
- Any concern that mold may be causing a problem to your health or environment is a good reason to run a test for peace of mind.
How RDS Will Help in testing, consulting or remediating for mold.
Our team of certified professionals will help:
- Locate where excessive moisture is entering your property.
- Conduct air monitoring, surface and bulk sampling for mold levels.
- Identify the affected areas and quantify the amount of mold.
- Recommend safe and cost-effective treatments to resolve the mold condition.
- Determine if there is a health concern and if professional remediation is warranted.