Written by Guest Author Megan Jones from www.grizzlytarps.com
The Atlantic hurricane season is nearing its peak, and with the churning storms, disasters are just around the corner. You can expect torrential rains, lashing winds, and overwhelming storm surges that leave extensive damage in its wake. But those aren’t the only dangers to expect during hurricane season. You should also be prepared against the health risks of mold growth.
During this time, molds can quickly become a problem because of moisture. Without proper precaution, it can easily grow in and outside of your home. If it does, it will bring harm to yours and your family’s health when inhaled into the lungs, irritating it, causing asthma and allergies. Protection is always better than cure, so get ready in advance against the mold growth with the following tips.
Protect Yourself Against Mold Before the Storm
If you weren’t asked to evacuate and decided to stay at home during the storm, preventing water damage is a must to avoid mold. It is the only effective way to stop any chance of it growing in the first place. You can protect yourself from mold by doing precautionary measures before and during the storm, such as these tips:
- If there are any holes in your wall, plug it. If your roof has leaks, make sure to fix it before the storm. You must stop the leaks as soon as you see them. A great way to do this is to install a product from Grizzly Tarps
- Close the windows to prevent water from getting in and keep as much humidity as possible out of the house. It will also keep your home interior to be as dry as possible. Even if you leave to go to a shelter, don’t forget to close the window.
- Check and stop any water you see that’s coming in. Check the windows, doors, the base and top of walls, bulkheads, stairways, and anywhere else that water might come in.
- Get rid of any standing water with a pump or vacuum, broom, and buckets or whatever you can use.
- If anything becomes wet, remove it immediately. It is crucial to do this since you are likely going to lose power during a storm. It means you won’t be able to use your AC or dehumidifiers to prevent moisture.
- But if the power is on, don’t forget to use your dehumidifier or air conditioner for moisture prevention.
Protect Yourself Against Mold After the Storm
In the case that mold has already grown, the best thing you can do is clean it up as soon as possible. After the storm, make sure to check your entire home for any water damage. As soon as you do that, you can get rid of any possibility that mold grows. You can hire water damage clean up service, or you can clean it up yourself with the following tips:
- Check everything that could have gotten wet, including walls, furniture, rugs, pillows and anything else porous. You must remove them from your house altogether.
- Use air movers to dry wet floors properly. Air movers are excellent water damage equipment that blows lower to the ground at high speeds. With that, it can force water to evaporate quickly from carpets, floors, and other parts of the house.
- Take out your cleaning items – medical wipes, detergents, vinegar, and baking soda, or commercial cleaners. Use whatever is handy for you to clean the wet area where mold could grow.
- Don’t forget to use disinfecting supplies to clean your house thoroughly. Disinfecting is particularly essential as the floodwater that got into your home likely contains harmful bacteria. Those bacteria can contribute to mold growth, if not removed as soon as possible.
- Keep the windows closed. When the power comes back on, run your dehumidifiers and air conditioning. If you have a generator at home and if it’s safe to use it, start drying things out by running your fans.
- If you can already see some molds growing, don’t touch it. When cleaning, it is best to wear your gas mask since even if you can’t see the mold, its invisible spores can still get into your lungs. If it does, it will cause numerous health problems.
Mold Safety Precautions
Cleaning your home after the hurricane might still be able to prevent mold from growing inside your home. But if it has already been three days, it is best not to touch anything wet in your house. It’s because mold starts to grow after three days, which means your health could be at risk by then. The best thing to do in this situation is to call for expert help.
We are now in the Atlantic hurricane season. We will likely experience hurricanes one after the other. Getting ready for the hurricane season includes not only preparing foods and medicine for when the storm hits. It’s also about making sure your house is safe from water damage and mold. You can do that by keeping in mind the cleaning tips mentioned above.