Mold Dangers After a Flood – Mold Professional Training

If you’re trying to clean up a house that has been flooded, be aware that you’re in a race against mold and bacteria, which can grow quickly in damp environments. Mold and mildew will develop quickly. According to FEMA, in just 24-48 hours of water exposure surfaces and materials can become contaminated with mold.

Mold is a major health risk that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Mold exposure can lead to several health-related problems. With its natural ability to travel through the air, the inhalation of mold spores can create a variety of respiratory ailments. Mold is especially dangerous for people with breathing problems caused by allergies or asthma.

Common side effects include asthma, allergies, respiratory infections, sinus infections and skin rashes. Mold in air ducts can cause allergic reactions. In some cases, mold exposure can even be fatal.

Mold isn’t the only threat from flooding. Bacteria may also be a problem if your house was soaked by sewage. Bacteria can cause dangerous gastrointestinal and skin infections.

That’s why it’s important to stop these pathogens before they take hold of your home.

Mold Professional Recommended

Both the CDC and the EPA recommend bringing in a trained professional to clean up mold that covers more than 100 square feet or a 10-foot-by-10-foot area. Some states require contractors that clean up mold to be licensed. At the minimum, anyone you hire should have experience getting rid of mold, references you can call, and liability insurance.

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Professional mold removal contractors are individuals that are licensed and professionally trained in proper mold identification and removal techniques. These mold removal contractors use industrial equipment and cleaning supplies to kill and remove mold and mold colonies from the home.

During a mold inspection, a technician will perform a visual inspection and then test the air with a device referred to as a “sniffer.” Depending on the findings, the technician may send a mold sample in for lab testing.

FEMA Video: Eradicating Mold and Mildew

Hazards of Mold Infestation

Health officials say problems from exposure can follow if mold is disturbed through cleanup procedures. Also, mold is easily transferred from one surface to another. Infants, children, immune-compromised patients, pregnant women, individuals with existing respiratory conditions (allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity, and asthma) and the elderly appear to be at higher risks for adverse health effects from mold.

Symptoms include nose and throat irritation, wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks in individuals who have asthma, and lower respiratory tract infections (in children).

People with pre-existing respiratory conditions also may be susceptible to more serious lung infections. Thus, it is important to identify mold early and take steps to clean it up and prevent more mold activity.

Video: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS): Mold

Video: U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Mold

Additional Mold Safety and Cleanup Resources

Advice on how to clean up mold in your home safely

CDC

EPA