Between hurricane damage, swollen coastlines, or the simple chaos of a burst pipe, moisture intrusion and flooding can be difficult to avoid when you live in Florida.
Of course, if you fall victim to such a water-logged disaster, we recommend that you reach out to a local mold remediation professional, as they are best equipped to efficiently and effectively restore your property to a safe state.
That being said, if that is not possible for you for one reason or another, allow us to provide you with a few tips and steps to keep in mind:
Introduction Preparation and Protection
Should you choose to pursue a DIY mold remediation of your own, the first and most important step to take is ensuring you have all of the equipment and resources necessary to keep you safe.
For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends:
- Using respiratory protection to prevent the inhalation of hazardous spores and other airborne pollutants
- Using proper eye and hand protection like non-vented goggles
- Purchasing long, durable gloves to protect your skin and prevent contact with cleaning chemicals
- Wearing clothing that will protect your body from coming into contact with contamination
Once your preparations are complete, first install a plastic containment barrier to separate the affected/contaminated areas from the unaffected/uncontaminated areas.
You may then begin to remove standing water and dispose of materials that have fallen victim to flooding/moisture intrusion. This will prevent you from becoming exposed to water-borne contamination as well as help to prevent future mold growth in the same areas.
Enacting Your Personal Process
Once you’ve donned your protective gear and removed all remaining water, moisture, and contaminated items to the best of your ability, you’ll want to:
- Open windows and doors to enhance ventilation. This includes indoor and outdoor doorways, in addition to kitchen cabinets, drawers, attic access points, and more.
- Refrain from using fans in the affected areas until completely remediated, as air movement may spread/diffuse the mold particles further.
- Use a dehumidifier to control humidity if necessary.
- Remove and discard porous building materials that have been contaminated with mold, such as drywall or carpet.
- Clean, and dry the area using detergent or household cleansers. Do not mix cleaners, as this may cause a hazardous chemical reaction.
- Clean yourself and change your clothes once you leave. You do not want to unwittingly carry spores and other particles with you, thereby exposing the individuals around you to the same pollutants.
That all being said, before you enact the aforementioned, we encourage you to take a moment to consider the scope of your remediation site and determine how extensive the work may be.
“Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors,” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) specifies. “One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself.”
If the affected area is larger than 10 square feet, it is best to reach out to a professional mold contractor to properly complete the remediation.
You may also want to reach out to a certified mold inspection company, like Luce Air Quality, to provide you with a detailed mold remediation protocol for either you or your chosen contractor.
Optimizing Progress With The Professionals
That all being said, if you do follow through with your DIY job, how do you know if it was truly effective enough?
Simple: call Luce Air Quality to schedule a post-remediation verification. Not only can our team of experts comprehensively verify that you have successfully removed all contamination, but we can also provide you with a copy of the report should you decide to put your house on the market in the future.
As your local indoor environmental professionals, we offer decades of service, expertise, and care in the restoration and remediation industry. Whether you’re looking for reliable results for your residential or commercial property, we can provide you with answers, actionable recommendations, and peace of mind.