Salem – Most people know that heavy rains and water leaks can lead to mold and mildew problems at home. But what do you do when the worst happens?
Glad you asked. September is National Mold Awareness Month, and the non-profit Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics recommends consumers be vigilant about preventing mold, dealing with it immediately after it occurs and to choose cleaning products wisely.
“Mold represents a health risk, especially for the approximately 50 million people in the U.S. affected by allergies,” said Nancy Sander, president of AANMA, in a press release. “Bleach and other toxic cleaners commonly advertised to kill mold spores are airway irritants known to trigger asthma and upper respiratory symptoms. We always encourage families to choose non-toxic options because they work.”
“Mold is a serious issue … Mold thrives in moisture, and in addition to the excess water from storms, … high humidity helps promote mold growth,” said Eric Green, president of Planet People, the manufacturer of Concrobium Mold Control, an EPA-registered, 2-in-1 solution that eliminates mold and prevents it from returning, with zero bleach, ammonia or harmful chemicals.
Detect it: To prevent mold you must stop water from getting inside your home. Keep an eye out for leaking roofs, cracked foundations, clogged drains and faulty plumbing. Regularly check around kitchen and bathroom sinks, refrigerators and attics.
Dry it: Invest in a shop vacuum or water pump, which also can be rented from a local home improvement store, that you can use to remove water in the event of sudden flooding. Once water is removed, use fans to dry out areas; open doors and windows if possible, as well as closet and cabinet doors to help allow air to circulate.
Ditch it: Don’t be reluctant to throw out water and mold-damaged items that are replaceable. If in doubt, throw it out, including carpeting, padding and ceiling tiles. If drywall has absorbed water, cut out 12 inches above the water level and replace once the room is dried out.