How do you Know You're Done Cleaning After a Flood?
After a home flooding, it can be a great relief to see the water removed and your home begin to dry out. But just because the water is out, doesn’t mean your home is safe.
The biggest problem that arises from flooding is mold. Under the perfect circumstances, mold can begin to grow just 24 to 48 hours after flooding. And even after standing water is removed, there is still the risk of excess moisture.
So how do you deal with moisture that could cause a mold outbreak? The first step is to get rid of any materials that were soaked and cannot be properly cleaned or will not dry thoroughly. Carpet and carpet padding must be torn out and trashed. Padded and cloth-covered furniture like loveseats and couches may need to be tossed as well.
Drywall should be removed 12 inches above the waterline. Most baseboards will also need to be discarded. If the insulation behind the drywall is wet, cut it above the wet area and discard it. Don’t pull the entire column of insulation down, as it can be difficult and expensive to replace.
Once the compromised materials are removed, you can focus on the floors and studs. In most cases, floor boards and studs can be saved, but they must be cleaned and dried properly. To do so, ventilate your home by opening windows and allowing for air circulation. To help air flow, use simple box fans or even carpet dryers. If you’re not able to open windows, use a dehumidifier. Even after you think the space is dry, continue the drying and ventilating process.
We also recommend using a moisture meter, which can read the moisture level in the floorboards and studs. Once these materials are at or below 16% moisture, you are safe from future mold growth.