Precautions After A Flood

I have been very involved in helping clean up and restore several homes in Cranford and Westfield. Through this experience, I have become more proficient in the area of mold related issues. Following are some bullet points that should act as a primer for you. These comments primarily concern finished basements. 
1. Any presence of water, even one inch on the floors can be a problem. If your basement has finished walls the floor moldings need to be removed within hours of the contact to prevent mold from starting to grow between the wood moldings and the drywall.
2. If water levels are higher or the moldings were not removed within 24 hours of contact, the drywall needs to be removed a minimum of 1.5 feet above the highest water level. The framing (wood or metal) can remain. And remove any insulation that is exposed also. Wash the exposed areas with a TSP and water solution. Bleach and water will also work.
3. Open windows and run fans pointing outward. This will help dry the area and push any air-borne spores outside and not up into the rest of the house.
4. Close the affected rooms off from the rest of the house. If you are moving things out of the area create a sealed corridor so you won’t precipitate contamination into the first floor. This is as simple as hanging a plastic sheet over an adjoining doorway.
5. Mold grows on porous surfaces- wood, paper, insulation, drywall, fabric. These items need to be removed. Concrete floors and block walls, metal studs, and electrical wiring are all OK.

Remediation should consist of the following steps- This should be done by a professional.
1. Sand the wood (studs and floor plates) after they have dried out. This is a step many companies skip.
2. Wash the surfaces with bleach and water solution. This is especially true of the ceiling beams and subfloor above.
3. Seal the surface with a product made to specifically inhibit mold growth. There are several on the market that are safe and natural.
4. Have the upper levels dehumidified and fogged. (not as bad or expensive as it sounds)
5. Have the air ducts cleaned. Any flexible ducts that were in the affected room must be replaced.
6. Have the home tested and air quality certified.
I hope this helps and remember don’t hesitate to call if you have questions or concerns. Contact me for any professional assistance needed.

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