Q:

How can homeowners control mold following water damage?

A:

Quick Answer

To control mold after water damage, homeowners should discard all items below the water line and vacuum the home thoroughly with a wet-dry vacuum. Clean all framing with detergent and water or another suitable cleaner, and rinse the framing with clean water to remove embedded dirt and other contaminants. After cleaning, wipe down all surfaces with a solution of 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach per gallon of water to neutralize mold spores, and rinse the surfaces with clean water.

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Full Answer

Using a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate arrestance filter is recommended, but any wet-dry vacuum is suitable for cleanup after water damage. Connect a hose to the vacuum to direct the vacuum exhaust outdoors, preventing further contamination of the home. In addition to discarding damaged furnishings and other personal items, homeowners should discard building materials that are damaged, such as drywall, insulation and carpeting.

After removing building materials, thoroughly wash the underlying surfaces of the home with dish detergent and water, and repeat the cleaning process until mold and other contaminants are no longer present. After cleaning, vacuum the area to remove any remaining moisture. Direct warm, dry air into the affected areas of the home to encourage faster drying times.

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