If you live in an area that is prone to heavy rain and storms, chances are that you have dealt with the wrath of Mother Nature before. If she’s been more of a nuisance than she has in the past and you have a flood to deal with, then there is much recovery to be done.
Mold is a cancer to drywall, so act fast to get it contained. It can seep everywhere from the floorboards to the foundation, so knowing how to clean and kill it is essential in getting it under control.
- If it’s too much for you to handle, hire a professional cleaning service. Your insurance may or may not put you in touch with one. Find out more about professional cleaning services and the kinds of disaster recovery they manage.
- Remove all wet contents. This includes area rugs, carpeting and bedding. Mold can start growing on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours, so work quickly. Anything that has been wet for less than 48 hours might be saved, but after that timeframe, it is most likely too late.
- You can clean smaller areas yourself. Mix mild detergent like Dawn in a spray bottle with 1 cup of vinegar and fill the rest with warm water. Clean as thoroughly as you can, then spray with a 10% bleach solution and let sit for 5-10 minutes. The mold will begin to sizzle and finally disappear. Clean again with your vinegar solution and wipe dry.
Contact Your Insurance
As with any damage that comes to your home, your first step is contacting your homeowner’s insurance. Explain what has happened and what kind of damage you are facing. If this was a very heavy storm, bear in mind that your insurance company might be overloaded with calls from other clients. Be patient.
- Take pictures of all damage. This validates your insurance claim if a representative cannot come out immediately, and you have proof in case of any potential lawsuits.
- Be mindful of electricity and live wires. If you do not feel safe, shut off the electricity in your home and barricade the area. Keep young children and pets as far from it as possible.
- Similarly, be mindful of any burst pipes or additional water damage. If there has not been a storm and your house is gushing water, shut off the water immediately to prevent any further harm.
Know what to do after your home has been hit with intense water damage. Acting quickly is the first step to get your situation under control.