With the temperature dropping, and our thermostats being raised, it’s time to talk about mold. As we gear up for holiday parties and other festivities, a lot of our appliances are doing double duty. We also have wintery weather to deal with, a lot of rain and snow and significantly less sunlight. This can cause leaks that, when combined with the hotter temperatures inside, can lead to mold. Fortunately, we have some great tips for mold remediation after experiencing some water damage.
- Prepare to clean up. Contact your agent and photograph any damage to the structure or your belongings. Throw away or remove anything that was wet and can’t be cleaned and dried completely within 48 hours. Drying your home and removing water damaged items is paramount when preventing mold damage.
- Protect yourself. Purchase goggles, masks and gloves to assist your cleanup and prevent any injuries from cleaning products or outside materials. If it’s a large amount of water, you may want to contact a remediation company. Your agent can recommend one for you.
- Be safe with cleaning products. Many people use bleach to sanitize and disinfect after water damage. If you decide to use bleach, do so safely with the above mentioned protective items. Remember the following tips as well: NEVER mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleaning product; ALWAYS allow for ventilation; NEVER clean with undiluted bleach, use no more than 1 cup per gallon of water (no more than 1/2 cup if you’re using professional grade); ALWAYS protect your mouth, nose, skin and eyes against mold and bleach. An N-95 mask can be purchased at home improvement or hardware stores.
- After sanitizing, consider setting up a fan to help dry the area completely. This may not be an option if the water damage was extensive and caused issues with your electrical outlets. Have any area rugs professionally cleaned before bringing them back in the area, and discard any furnishings like ottomans or pillows that contain absorbent stuffing that cannot be effectively sanitized.
- Retain any receipts for items purchased to replace damaged goods, as well as any invoices from contractors or remediation companies, in order to send those to your agent or adjustor.