Is your home flooded? You might have mold then. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), your home can sprout mold in 24-48 hours after a flood. The longer your wait, the more likely you are to grow mold. That doesn’t give you much time to dry things out.
Especially for the people like those living in Alexander County, IL, where people there have been dealing with water for weeks. Some of those homes have even had water in their basements and main floors for a month or more.
“For mold to grow, you have to have a food source, have to have water and it likes dark places with heat,” Hastings informed. “It would be during the summer time in Missouri and Illinois. It’s warm, it’s hot and it’s wet so you’re going to have mold.”
Hastings said if they have a lot of mold in their home, it will grow in places they can see, but also in places they cannot see real easily.
Mold can make a person sick when a person breathes it in. It is especially a concern for those who are living in their homes that have water inside.
“If you are living in a house that has the microbial growth, or mold, it can be a problem for people with immune deficiencies,” Hastings said. “People react differently to it. Some people aren’t affected very much by mold. Some people will have an immediate reaction when they walk up to it. If you have asthma or allergies or immune deficiencies, elderly or infants, those people are susceptible for that type of stuff that would get inside their bodies and could cause some illnesses for them.”
He added some recommendations when it comes to moving molded affected areas. He said to dispose of the affected area and an additional two feet above it. He also said to be mindful when moving the mold around as well.
“What they need to remember is, once they have taken it out, they’re stirring up the mold spores as they are taking this stuff out,” Hastings said. “So there is still going to be mold in their house and they need to have it cleaned after everything is torn out. Otherwise, those mold spores are still there. And, if it gets wet again, it will start to grow again.”
During the cleaning process, Hastings also states that bleach will clean affected areas, however, it will not kill the mold and could come back after cleaning it.
“You need to treat it was some type of anti-microbial,” Hastings continued. “That anti-microbial will prevent that mold to grow again, but you have to make sure everything gets dry.”
IF you have a small infestation, you can clean up the mold yourself. Hastings recommends protection before getting rid of the affected areas. He states you need at least an N95 respirator to wear so you can breathe without any concerns of mold entering your lungs. Gloves are also a must.
If there is too much mold or damage, call your local restoration professionals.
Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved. By Mike Mohundro, CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS)