Experts: act fast cleaning floodwater damage to avoid dangerous mold

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 7:22 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Many families living near rivers and streams have experienced water inside their homes in recent days. Now they’re left to clean it up.

If it lingers, they will be dealing with potentially serious damage.

SERVPRO is a company that cleans homes, businesses, and anywhere floodwater and mold that can result from it. Sarah King is the business development coordinator at SERVPRO.

“Mold is not something that you want to mess with,” King said.

Mold is common in homes that have had floodwater inside. If not cleaned properly, many are facing hours of cleaning are wondering what to do .

SERVEPRO cleans businesses, homes and overall flood damage including mud, mold and contamination. Since Monday, their phones have been busy.

“It literally did not stop Monday or Tuesday,” King said.

They have to work fast to clean out muddy standstill water so bacteria does not stick around and mold does not grow inside.

“Of course, where you are sleeping and spending most of your time breathing in this stuff it is not good for you,” King said.

The CDC agrees. They say mold can have health effects like a sore throat or a runny nose. But for people with compromised immunity, it’s more serious. The CDC says mold in your home can lead to infections in the lungs.

King says in perfect conditions mold can take two days to grow. She says usually it takes a week or two, and it can even stick around in dry conditions.

“It can spread through your house dormant until it finds enough moisture,” King said.

King said if mold takes up less than 10 square feet, it can be cleaned with an antimicrobial after the area is washed off and making sure the area is ventilated.

To clean it, she says to wear gloves, boots, clothes that cover exposed skin, and a mask.

King said it’s most important to act fast, getting rid of the mold before it can cause long-lasting damage and health effects.

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