6 steps to prevent carpet mold after water damage
Any kind of surface that has been touched by flooding stormwater should be santifized. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Kristen M.)
Homeowners who experience flooding and power outages from storms should know that these situations create warm, dark and humid environments — conditions in which mold and mildew thrive.
Exposure to mold can cause health problems for some people. Breathing airborne mold may trigger symptoms in those with hay fever, asthma and allergies. It can also cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat or lungs.
The sooner you start cleaning up after water damage, the sooner you can stop mold from growing under your carpet.
Here are six steps to get you started:
1. Get rid of the water. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clean up as much water as soon as possible.
2. Use fans to speed the drying process. Fans also help circulate fresh air.
3. Use a dehumidifier. It removes excessive moisture, which makes the air feel cooler and limits mold and mildew growth.
4. Treat carpet and flooring. Steam clean all carpets to properly sanitize and deodorize. Typically, water-damaged carpet padding must be replaced.
5. Sanitize walls and baseboards. Anything touched by storm water should be sanitized. Clean all walls, hard-surface floors and other household surfaces with soap and water. Sanitize them with a solution of 1½ cups of chlorine bleach to one gallon of water. Remember to wear rubber gloves during cleanup.
6. Check furniture. Look for damage and remove furniture from wet flooring.
Cleaning water-soaked carpets and floors is difficult under any conditions, but in the aftermath of a storm or flood, contamination by mud, silt, sewage and mildew, can compound the problem. The Institute for Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification recommends that in such cases, a certified restoration service provider should evaluate water and old and remove it.
Ayoub Carpet Service is located in Chantilly, Virginia. As of August 22, 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.
Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally published August 30, 2012.