The City of New Orleans recently published safety tips to residents who as a result of Hurricane Isaac may find themselves facing the growth of mold - but really, mold growth can happen anywhere at anytime, not just after a flood. Mold thrives in continuously wet conditions and can start to grow within 24 hours after a flood.
People with asthma or other pulmonary illnesses, compromised immune systems, infants and the elderly are more likely to develop mold-related illnesses. If large areas of mold growth are present, professional mold assessment and/or clean up assistance may be needed.
In order to control mold, City health officials offer the following suggestions:
- Flooded homes should be thoroughly dried out, a process that may take several days or weeks.
- Porous materials - those that absorb water - such as sheetrock, some paneling, fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, mattresses, pillows, wallpaper and upholstered furniture should be discarded.
- Sheetrock and other porous wall boards should be removed to at least 12 inches above the water line. Check for wicking, the upward movement of moisture to higher levels.
- Clean wall studs where wallboard has been removed and allow them to dry completely.
- Materials that cannot be effectively cleaned and dried should be placed in sealed plastic bags to prevent the spread of mold spores.
If you've experienced mold or water damage, AdvantaClean can help.